During a corneal transplant, an ophthalmologist removes all or part of a patient's cornea and replaces it with healthy corneal tissue from a donor.
The cornea is a dome-shaped layer that covers the pupil and iris. A healthy cornea is necessary in order to see clearly. When the cornea becomes damaged or diseased, severe vision loss can occur. A corneal transplant is a proven way to restore vision, reduce pain and fix the appearance of an abnormal cornea.
A corneal transplant is performed in the operating room and lasts about an hour. Depending on the type and severity of the corneal problem, two surgical options are available:
- Penetrating keratoplasty (PKP). During this procedure, the ophthalmologist cuts away the full thickness of the unhealthy cornea and replaces it with a full thickness donor cornea. PKP is an ideal treatment for corneal scarring, swelling, keratoconus or complications from prior eye surgeries.
- Descemet's Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK). DSEK, the preferred treatment for Fuchs' Dystrophy and pseudophakic bullous keratopathy, involves the surgeon removing and replacing only the inner layer of corneal cells. Because the dome-shaped outer cornea is not affected, patients with DSEK tend to heal and recover their vision more quickly.
Why Temple Health?
Temple ophthalmologists specialize in the medical and surgical management of eye disorders — from the most routine to the most complex. Our understanding of complicated cornea problems helps patients receive appropriate treatment.