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Cornea Transplant or Corneal Transplantation?

  • 5 min read

Cornea transplant is the removal of the diseased cornea of a patient and replacing it with a new cornea from a generous deceased person.

There are a wide number of individuals that suffer from a diseased or cloudy cornea. When this particular area of the eye begins to have trouble, light cannot pass through this area successfully which results in blurry vision or even blindness. When this happens, it’s up to your ophthalomologist  or an eye doctor to decide the best treatment for your specific condition. Now, it’s important to understand that simply because the cornea is having a problem, before a corneal transplant can take place, it will have to be determined that the retina as well as nerve at the back of the eye is completely healthy.

Indications for Cornea Transplant

Any dense scarring or opacity in the cornea. This affects the vision and cannot be improved with glasses or contact lenses. We can classify the causes:

  1. Congenital – Opacity like Peters anamoly
  2. Degenerative – Keratoconus, Macular cornea degeneration, Fuchs dystrophy
  3. Trauma – Like central corneal injury
  4. Tumors – Keloid
  5. Pterygium which invades central cornea
  6. Post surgical – Pseudophakic Bullous Keratopathy.

Once this has been determined, your doctor can decide whether or not this is the correct technique that will need to take place. Now, corneal transplantation is exactly what it sounds like. Your cornea is being transplanted with a new donated cornea. If you have been diagnosed successfully, and it has been decided that a transplant technique will work in your specific case, this is an option you will have – provided the new donated cornea is available.

Types of Cornea Transplant

  1. Full thickness Cornea graft called Penetrating Keratoplasty or PK
  2. Lamellar Graft or LK
  3. DALK or Deep Anterior Lamellar Graft
  4. DSEK or Descemets Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty
  5. DMEK or Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty
  6. DWEK OR DSO – Descemets membrane stripping

Traditionally manual keratomes have been used. We have now started using femtosecond lasers to get better shape alignments.. This helps in increasing wound apposition, strength and at the same time decreasing induced astigmatism.

The exact type of cornea transplant best suited for you can be determined by a cornea surgeon like Rajesh Khanna, MD based in Los Angeles area. Call him at (310) 896 4944 if you need to find what is BEST for you.

Why Choose a Cornea Transplant ?

There are many individuals that will wonder why they should choose a corneal transplant other than any other technique available. Well, this is a question that can only be answered with regards to your specific situation. It’s important to understand that everyone is different, and everyone will suffer with a different eye condition. Each condition will not require this type of technique. However, you’ll be happy to know that if you have been diagnosed thoroughly, and they find that this is a technique that can be used in your specific situation, you can benefit a great deal by having this procedure performed.

* The Benefits of Corneal Transplantation

One of the major benefits of corneal transplantation will be the fact that you can see again. Now, it’s important to note that you will have to undergo some healing time, but if all of the diagnostic procedures have been performed extensively, you’ll discover that this is a procedure that takes very little time and as a result of completion you will be able to see again. It’s important to note that with any type of procedure available, there can be complications; however, 99.9% of the people that have been diagnosed for this technique have successfully regained their eyesight to a positive degree.

So, when it comes to corneal transplantation, this is another option that is available for those that have been having corneal issues that are unresolved. As stated before, it will be important for you to work with your optometrist or eye doctor to determine whether or not this is a technique that will provide you with great benefits.

Cornea transplant and Insurance Coverage

There are certain costs involved in cornea transplant procedure. They can be divided into

  • Cost of the cornea from the eye bank
  • Cost of the surgery center
  • Surgeon fees
  • Anesthetist fees
  • Laser fees
  • Preoperative measurements
  • Follow up care

Usually medical insurance covers some or most of the cost. Vision Insurance does not apply to this procedure. She insurances have stopped covering costs for the Cornea graft. It is best to send us your medical insurance card in advance so we can check your coverage.

Preparing for the Cornea Transplant procedure

A lot of arrangements are made by the surgeon, eye bank and the surgery center to procure the cornea and have it ready for cornea transplant surgery. It is imperative you do not try to reschedule the surgery unless its absolutely medically necessary.

On the day of the surgery wear loose clothes. Do not drink or eat anything for eight hours before the scheduled time. You will have intravenous fluids and anesthetic given.

After the Cornea Transplant procedure

You will be given certain important instructions as to how you should sleep, based on the exact procedure. These need to be adhered to for successful outcome.

See if DSEK or DALK is for you. Dr. Khanna is a Board certified Ophthalmologist specializing in corneal surgery. He was trained at the prestigious University of Cincinnati. He ia voluntary Clinical Instructor at UCLA. The most important fact is that he will care for you like family.

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