Cornea Surgery

Cornea Surgery or Keratoplasty is a surgical treatment to cure the vision problems resulting from a damaged Cornea. Your Cornea may get damaged due to age or by an infection or an injury. This blurs or damages your vision.

Cornea Surgery restores the damaged vision and prevents further vision loss by replacing part of your damaged cornea with that of a donor.

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What is Cornea surgery?

Cornea Surgery or Keratoplasty is a surgical treatment to cure the vision problems resulting from a damaged Cornea.

Your Cornea is a transparent outer part of the eye covering the Iris, Pupil, and Anterior chambers. It gives you vision by focusing the incoming light onto the retina by refraction and bending the incoming light.

Age or an infection or a physical injury can damage your Cornea and damage your vision.

Cornea Surgery restores the damaged vision and prevents further vision loss by replacing part of your damaged cornea with that of a donor. Hence, Cornea Surgery is also called Cornea Transplant Surgery.

Why is Cornea Surgery done?

If your vision cannot be restored using non-surgical treatments, the Doctor may opt the Cornea surgery.

The conditions that may lead to Cornea Surgery are:

  • Corneal swelling

  • Clouding of cornea

  • Infections leading to ulcer formation in the cornea

  • Thinning of the cornea

  • Fuch's dystrophy

  • Cornea bulging outwards (keratoconus)

  • As a treatment to resolve the complication of a previous eye surgery

How to prepare for Cornea Surgery?

You need to follow the following steps to prepare for Cornea Surgery:

  • ​If you take any medications, share them with the doctor and get his review.
  • Your doctor may ask you to stop using certain medications for a few days before and after the surgery.
  • If there is any complication, the doctor may treat that condition first, wait for it to be completely cured, and then proceed with surgery.

How is Cornea Surgery done?

The doctor gives you a sedative to help the patient relax. The area around the eye is given a local anesthetic. This numbs the eye. You will be awake during the surgery but will not experience pain.

Depending upon the condition, there are 2 types of Cornea Surgery or Keratoplasty procedures.

1. Penetrating Keratoplasty:

Penetrating Keratoplasty is the most common type of cornea transplant.

The surgeon makes a circular cut around the diseased or abnormal tissue. He removes this button-sized damaged Cornea tissue part from your eye.

The cornea from the donor is positioned on your eye. The surgeon then uses a fine thread to stitch the new cornea in place. The stitches are removed once the cornea gets integrated into your eye.

2. Keratoprosthesis:

The procedure is the same as Penetrating Keratoplasty. But, the replaced Cornea is an artificial one and not from a donor. This procedure is done when the donor's Cornea tissue cannot be used.

​3.Endothelial keratoplasty:

The surgeon removes the innermost single-celled layer (endothelial layer) along with its thin protective membrane (Descemet membrane).

Once removed the donor tissue from the same area replaces it as an implant.

How to take care of the eye after Cornea Surgery?

After the procedure following protocols are to be followed for the eye that's undergone the surgery:
  • You may need to take the medications prescribed by the doctor. These medications can be in form of eye drops or oral medications to manage pain and swelling, aid recovery, and help contain any infection at the site of surgery.

  • You may need to wear an eye patch to protect the operated eye from a direct impact until the eye recovers from the wound of the surgery. 

  • The doctor advises a gradual return to daily activities. Take extra precautions and opinion from the doctor if you want to do physical exercises.

  • You might need to do regular checkups with the doctor for almost a year to ensure the graft has been accepted by your eye.

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