What is a Corneal Transplant?

The cornea is the clear dome of tissue covering your pupil. It functions as the front window of the eye, and clear vision necessitates a healthy and clear cornea. A number of diseases cause the cornea to lose its clarity, and the result is blurry and distorted vision. Some conditions that cause this problem include keratoconus, corneal scars, corneal swelling, and Fuch’s dystrophy . During transplantation this diseased tissue is removed and replaced with healthy tissue from a donor.

A traditional full-thickness corneal transplantation involves removing all layers of the cornea, and replacing the entire thickness of the cornea with a donor cornea. This replacement cornea is stitched into place with tiny sutures that are thinner than a human hair.

In some corneal diseases, only one layer of the cornea is dysfunctional. In these cases, a more advanced technique known as DSAEK may be used to target that diseased layer and replace it without removing the entire cornea. This leads to fewer stitches, and a faster recovery.