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Cornea Transplant Surgery

What is Cornea Transplant Surgery?

The cornea is a clear tissue covering the front of the eye and the light entering the eyes passes through the cornea and then the pupil and the lens. The cornea has to be clear to allow a person to see properly. However, a large number of problems can cause damage to the cornea which can affect the vision. These problems include:

  • Scarring of the cornea due to infection and trauma
  • Keratoconus can also damage it because this is a degenerative condition due to which the cornea becomes misshapen or thin.
  • Some corneal conditions that are inherited like Lattice dystrophy, Fuch’s dystrophy and many others.

Cornea Transplant Surgery

When the cornea is damaged beyond repair due to any of the above mentioned problems, and does not allow light to enter the eye properly, then it has to be replaced with a healthy cornea transplanted from a donor. This procedure is known as keratoplasty or corneal transplant.

Need to Transplant Cornea

Corneal transplant is needed when the cornea no longer allows light to enter the eyes and this in turn causes partial or total blindness. The cornea may be damaged at birth or get damaged during the course of a person’s life due to several problems mentioned above.

Am I Eligible for Cornea Surgery?

Usually corneal transplant surgeries are successful, but there are some risk factors which need to be kept in consideration. These risks are:

  • Infection of the eyes
  • Increased risk of cataracts
  • Increase of pressure inside the eyeball also called glaucoma
  • There could be problems with the stitches used to attach the donor cornea
  • The recipient’s body can reject the new cornea
  • The cornea can have swelling

A person needs to be in good general health in order to opt for corneal transplant surgery. The blood sugar level, blood pressure and other functions of the body should be normal. Corneal transplant is much less complicated than transplant of other organs like heart, liver and kidney hence there is not much to keep a person from opting for this procedure.

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Before Surgery Tips

  • A thorough eye examination is required before the surgery during which the doctor will check for conditions that may cause complications after surgery
  • Measuring the eyes is also necessary to determine what size of donor cornea is needed
  • You may have to stop taking some medicines or supplements before or after the corneal transplant
  • Some other eye problems like inflammation or infection can reduce the chances of successful transplant of the cornea. These problems have to be treated and cured before the surgery.

Cornea Surgery Procedure

There are five layers in the cornea and all five layers are not replaced all the time during cornea transplant surgery. There are different types of cornea transplants including:

  • Full thickness or penetrating cornea transplant – In this process all the layers of the cornea are transplanted
  • Lamellar Cornea transplant – In this procedure only some of the layers of the cornea are transplanted

Also Read: LASIK Eye Surgery

After Surgery Tips

Most of the times patients have to stay for one night in the hospital after a full thickness cornea transplant. On the other hand the patient can go home the same day if it is a partial transplant. They eye is usually covered with an eye pad or plastic shield which can be removed one day after the procedure. The sight may be a little blurred initially, and there can also be some swelling and discomfort, although serious pain is rare.

Cornea Transplant Aftrecare

In case you have had endothelial keratoplasty, the patient may be asked to lie on the back as much as possible during the first few days after surgery. Once you come home from the hospital you need to take special care of your eye. Some important points to keep in mind are:

  • Avoid strenuous exercise or weight lifting for a few weeks
  • Don’t rub your eyes
  • If your job does not involve physical strain you can get back to work in 2 to 3 weeks after surgery
  • In case of a job involving manual labor you need to wait for 3 to 4 months
  • Don’t allow smoke or dust to enter your eyes as they can irritate the eyes
  • Wearing sunglasses is a good idea if you feel sensitive to light
  • Avoid contact sports till the doctor advises otherwise
  • Do not allow water to enter the eyes for one month
  • Don’t drive till your doctor gives you the go-ahead

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Success Rate of Cornea Transplant Surgery

Research has found that the new cornea will work for at least 10 years in the case of:

  • 89% people with keratoconus treatment
  • 73% of people with Fuch’s corneal dystrophy
  • 60% to 70% of people with corneal scarring

IndianMedTrip For Affordable Cornea Eye Treatment In India

IndianMedTrip is a company facilitating medical treatments like corneal transplant surgery in India. India is the new hub for medical tourism due to the state of the art medical facilities available here at very low costs. We help international patients find the best cornea transplant clinics and doctors in India within their budget.


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