Corneal Transplant

In cases where the cornea is no longer functional for visual purposes, such as in severe keratoconus or corneal scarring, a corneal transplant may be required for visual rehabilitation.  In a standard corneal transplant, a small disk of the central cornea is removed in the operating room using microsurgical instruments.  This disk is then replaced with a similarly sized graft obtained from donor tissue obtained from the eye bank.  Microscopic sutures are used to hold the graft in position until healing occurs.  The procedure takes about an hour, and is done on an outpatient basis.  There is little discomfort after the surgery, and people often return to work within a few days.  There is a slow healing process which occurs, and the vision may improve over the course of months.  Glasses or contact lenses may be needed to achieve full visual potential after the procedure.