Cornea Transplant: An Overview with Insights You Need to Know – Arohi Eye Hospital
Cornea Transplant is sometimes called as Eye Transplant. But unlike any other organs in the human body, the entire eye can not be transplanted. What the doctors do is graft a new cornea by replacing the damaged one and thus restore the vision. More often than not there’s a little underlying reason behind the eyesight issues we experience. We visit our eye doctors, he prescribes some eye drops or eyeglasses and we use these to get our issues resolved. But sometimes there are serious reasons behind our vision problems and one of them can be our damaged cornea. So for treating these issues doctors suggest a Cornea implant or transplant. Talk to the best ophthalmologist in Mumbai for transplanting your damaged cornea and improving your vision.
What is a Cornea Transplant?
The cornea is a dome-shaped and transparent surface on the eye from where the light enters. A substantial part of the eye’s power to see clearly depends upon the cornea. Cornea transplant surgery is a medical procedure that replaces the damaged part of your cornea with fresh corneal tissue from a donor. Medicinally this procedure is called Keratoplasty. The transplant helps to improve the appearance of a damaged cornea, reduce pain due to the issue, and restore vision.
Why Do You Need a Cornea Transplant Surgery?
There’s a number of signs and symptoms of a damaged cornea. Although your eye specialist will diagnose the actual reason behind the symptoms, generally the signs of a damaged cornea are:
- Thinning or tearing of the cornea
- Infection or injury on the cornea or corneal scarring
- Swelling or enlargement of the cornea
- A cornea that swells outward or keratoconus
- Corneal ulcers that don’t respond to medical treatment
- Fuch’s dystrophy which is a hereditary condition
- Challenges caused by earlier eye surgery
Procedures and Types of Cornea Transplant Surgery
With a cornea implant, the entire or partial thickness of the damaged cornea is removed and replaced with healthy tissue from the donor. There are a few advanced methods of a cornea implant. And depending upon the eye condition and requirements of the patient the surgeon decides on the type of surgery. These are:
- Endothelial Keratoplasty (EK)
It is suitable for people whose corneal endothelial layer is affected by endothelial dystrophies and other conditions. So in this surgery, the surgeon replaces the innermost layer of the cornea. Air bubbles are used to create a hold and support the new endothelial layer in the cornea. As only the single layer of the cornea is replaced, so the structural integrity of the eye is well maintained. For any kind of expert consultation for your eyes, talk to the leading glaucoma specialist in Mumbai.
- Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK)
In this method, the upper 4 layers of the cornea are removed and only the last layer is kept intact. The surgeon injects air to upraise the corneal layers and separates the outer layer of the cornea. Then the outer layers are removed and replaced with fresh layers. Generally, patients with corneal scars or keratoconus are advised to undergo this process. The method takes lesser healing time than the other types of corneal surgery.
- Penetrating Keratoplasty (PK)
Penetrating Keratoplasty is also known as a “full thickness” transplant in which the whole area of the cornea is replaced by the donor’s cornea. 16 or more stitches help to hold the cornea in the right position. Patients with failed DALK transplants or damaged endothelial and stromal corneal layers generally are suggested to undergo this surgery. Usually, after the surgery, the stitches are kept for 3 months so that the eyesight heals properly. However, the patient needs almost 1 year for complete healing of the transplant.
Is There Any Risk Involved in Cornea Transplant?
Compared to the other organ transplant procedures, cornea transplants are relatively safe. However, there’s a small risk involved like:
- Increasing pressure within the eyeball (glaucoma)
- Issues with the stitches that are used to hold the donor’s cornea
- Infection in the eye and bleeding
- Retinal detachment or swelling or such other issues
- Rejection of the new donor’s cornea etc.
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How Do You Know If Your Eye Rejects the Donor’s Cornea?
There’s a risk of rejection of the donor’s cornea. It can be that your body’s immune system attacks the new cornea by mistake. So if this happens medical treatment or another cornea graft is required. So if you notice any signs of cornea rejection like the following, don’t delay to get an appointment with your eye doctor.
- Pain in the eyes
- Redness in the eye
- Light sensitivity
- Sudden loss of eyesight
How Can You Find a Cornea Donor?
Generally, the cornea used for transplantation comes from people who have died and donated their eyes and organs for further use. However, corneas are taken from people who died from a normal cause. People who died for unknown reasons, or had certain specific conditions or contagious disease or previous eye disease or surgery are not allowed to be a cornea donor. Unlike other organ transplants, cornea grafts don’t need to match the tissue.
Cornea Transplant – Outcome & Recovery
However, about 10% of patients experience cornea rejection. So you don’t have to worry about getting your vision restored with a cornea engraft. Once the cornea is transplanted, patients are advised to maintain certain instructions like receiving medications, eye drops as per the doctor’s prescription. The patient must lie on his/her back and wear eye protection when he needs to go out. Also, the patient must avoid any eye injury and visit the doctor for timely follow-up exams.
For any type of eye treatment, Arohi Eye Hospital is the best place with the most experienced ophthalmologists and surgeons in Mumbai. So if you’re looking for an expert consultation regarding your eye condition, Get in Touch with us and get your precious vision corrected.