Why do you need a cornea transplant?
The cornea of your eye is a clear, protective outer layer at the front of the eyeball. It is the eye's window, as it helps light rays to be focused onto the retina.This image is then sent to the brain. The iris and the pupil, (the black dot in the centre) can be seen through the cornea.
When a person's cornea gets damaged from infection; disease or an injury, it becomes less transparent and its shape changes too. The scars from an injury can hamper your vision by blocking light as it enters your eye. This will then cause the image transmitted to the brain to be unclear. To repair this, your doctor will advise a cornea transplant.
Cornea transplant is an operation to remove the entire or part of a damaged cornea and replace it with healthy tissue from a donor. This procedure is also referred to as keratoplasty or a corneal graft. A cornea transplant will treat the damage to your eye; improving sight and relieving you of any pain there may be. The kind of cornea transplant you require depends on which part and how much of your cornea is damaged.
A condition called keratoconus that causes the cornea to change shape, is one the most common reasons for a cornea transplant. Penetrating Keratoplasty (PK), Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK) and Endothelial Keratoplasty (EK) are some of the commonly carried out cornea transplant procedures.
The decision to give you general anaesthesia or a local anaesthetic for the procedure will be taken by your doctor. The transplant procedure; in most cases, takes less than an hour and you can either leave the hospital that very day or stay overnight.
The recovery time for a cornea transplant depends on the type of transplant you have had, aided by the wearing of glasses or a contact lens. For a good recovery, it is important to take care of your eye; including not rubbing it and avoiding contact sports and swimming, till the time your doctor says its safe.