The cornea is a clear layer of tissue covering the front of the eye. The cornea refracts or bends light rays as they enter the eye, allowing them to focus on the retina. When the cornea has become, clouded or damaged because of disease, swelling, infection, scarring or chemical burns, a corneal transplant (or keratoplasty) is often used to restore functional vision. For this corneal transplant procedure, the corneal transplant surgeon carefully removes the central corneal tissue and replaces it with a precisely shaped replica of donor tissue.
Corneal Transplant Success Rate
The current corneal transplant success rate is about 85%. Factors such as glaucoma, retinal degeneration, or optic nerve disease may affect the final visual result even if the surgery is successful.
The corneal transplant procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and usually takes about an hour. Local anesthesia is used to ensure the patient does not feel any pain. Following the corneal transplant, a plastic shield or glasses should be worn at all times to avoid accidentally rubbing, bumping or hitting the eye. Prescription medication eye drops will be used to ensure the donor cornea transplant will take.
The healing process for MidWest Eye Center corneal transplant patients may vary greatly from one individual to the next. Some of our patients enjoy improved vision within a few months after surgery, for others, it may take up to a year.