Who Needs a Corneal Transplant?

Young woman smiling after a cornea transplant

Are you experiencing vision issues? Was your cornea damaged during surgery?

These could be signs that you need a corneal transplant. Corneal transplants are a great solution to give you back your vision and reduce pain. Keep reading to find out more information about who might need a corneal transplant!

Why do patients get corneal transplants?

Corneal transplants are the best option for giving patients sight back if they have a damaged cornea. A damaged cornea could occur if a patient has an eye disease.

Examples of conditions treated by a cornea transplant include:

  • A thinning cornea
  • A cornea that sticks out (keratoconus)
  • Scarring on the cornea due to injury or infection
  • When the cornea becomes cloudy
  • Corneal ulcers, including ones caused by an infection
  • Corneal swelling
  • Complications from a past surgery

Are there risks associated with a corneal transplant?

Yes, like any surgery, getting a corneal transplant has risks. But a corneal transplant is considered to be an extremely safe procedure. For example, risks include:

  • Eye infections
  • Cataracts
  • Increased eye pressure (glaucoma)
  • Swelling of the cornea
  • Issues with the stitches used to keep the donor cornea in place
  • Rejection of the donor cornea

How do you prepare for a corneal transplant?

Before a cornea transplant, you will go through a process. The steps include:

Getting a Comprehensive Eye Exam

Your doctor will evaluate your eye health and look for any diseases that could complicate surgery.

Measuring Your Eye

A key part of getting a cornea transplant is making sure the donor cornea is the right size. Your eye doctor will look at how big your eye is to select a donor cornea that’s the right size.

Discussing all Vitamins and Medicines You Use

If you take medicines or vitamins, it is important to share this information with your doctor. For example, they need to know if they are okay to take with the procedure you’re having.

Depending on what you take, you may need to stop for a period of time surrounding your cornea transplant.

Managing Other Eye Conditions

Having healthy eyes is important to having a successful surgery. If you have an infection or irritation, it is important to treat it before your surgery. Your doctor will help you manage and treat these conditions.

Additionally, your doctor will discuss the entire procedure with you. They want you to be comfortable with the procedure and recovery. Also, if you have any questions, please ask them before the procedure.

What are signs you could be rejecting the donor cornea?

In a small percentage of cases, the patient’s immune system attacks the donor cornea. This is a mistake, but when it happens it is called rejection.

Also, if it happens, you need extra medical treatment or another corneal transplant.

Signs your body is rejecting your corneal transplant include:

  • Pain
  • Vision loss
  • Eye redness
  • Being extremely sensitive to light

Finally, if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact your doctor immediately.

Do you think you’ve suffered damage to your cornea? Schedule an appointment at Ginsberg Eye in Naples, FL to discuss your options with one of our doctors!