Many people suffer from corneal issues which can cause problems with their vision. Problems like keratoconus, thin corneas, scarring, ulcers, and swelling can be corrected. This could be corrected with a surgery called a cornea transplant.
If you have any of these conditions, it is a good idea to speak with your eye doctor about this surgery. It’s likely that you could be a good candidate! You can set up an appointment with Colorado Eye Consultants right now!
Like all surgeries, it is important to make sure you qualify for a cornea transplant. If you think you might need a cornea transplant, you will need to fit the following guidelines!
Cornea Transplant Basics
A cornea transplant involves a damaged cornea getting replaced with a healthy one. This means removing all or most of your cornea and exchanging it with donor tissue. Corneas from donors do not usually take a long time to receive.
Corneas are only used for keratoplasty if the donor met strict criteria before they died. This includes not having nervous system conditions and previous complications with eye surgery.
Additionally, the cause of death is required knowledge. This prevents the spread of disease and keeps the recipient of the surgery safe. If the recipient cannot receive tissue from a donor, an artificial cornea can be used.
Getting A Cornea Transplant
Occasionally, a cornea gets rejected by the patient. This means that the body’s immune system is attacking the foreign tissue. This happens in about 10% of patients and needs monitoring. If it begins happening, it may be manageable with medications.
Corneal transplant surgery occurs under a local anesthetic. This means you’ll be awake for the operation but you will not feel it as it is happening.
Most cornea transplants involve replacing the entire cornea. A special tool called a trephine is used to cut a small circular hole. This cuts through the entire thickness of the cornea.
The donor cornea is then matched in size to the opening and stitched to it. These stitches are finer than even a single strand of hair! The stitches get removed at a later date.
Life After A Cornea Transplant
The entire surgery takes up to an hour to complete and is an outpatient procedure. You can leave after the surgery is finished. Recovery can take upwards of 6 months. After several weeks, you’ll be able to resume most normal activities.
Your eyesight after a cornea transplant could be blurrier or worse than it was before. Your eye needs some time to get used to the new cornea, so be patient.
You’ll need to take steroid eye drops for several months. This is to make sure your body does not reject the cornea transplant. Steroid eye drops also help reduce infection, swelling, and any discomfort.
Recovering from a cornea transplant takes time, but it’s well worth it! After recovery is complete, you may be a candidate for LASIK or PRK to correct refractive errors.
Have more questions about cornea transplants or if you’re a good candidate? Schedule a consultation with the doctors at Colorado Eye Consultants in Littleton or Evergreen today!