Corneal Transplants Can Dramatically Improve Your Vision
Corneal transplants at our Austin, TX, office can restore vision for patients who have damaged corneas due to disease or other factors. This procedure may become necessary to treat severe cases of keratoconus, Fuchs' corneal dystrophy, and several other conditions that damage the cornea. After an in-depth examination of your eyes, the doctors at Broberg Eye Care may recommend this surgery to help restore your vision.
Conditions Treated with a Corneal Transplant
The cornea is the dome-like front surface of the eye that is responsible for regulating the amount of light that enters your eye. You may be an excellent candidate for a corneal transplant if poor vision due to impaired corneas affects your daily activities. There are a variety of conditions that can be treated with a corneal transplant when your vision is not correctable with less invasive measures:
- Keratoconus: This degenerative eye disease causes the cornea to thin and bulge outward. This can lead to sensitivity to light, blurred vision, or blindness.
- Fuchs’ corneal dystrophy: This chronic eye disease usually affects both eyes and causes the corneas to swell. This causes blurred vision, painful blisters, and sensitivity to light.
- Corneal scarring: This is frequently caused by injury, infection, or disease and leads to excessive tearing, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, redness, and discomfort.
- Clouding and swelling: This is typically a result of corneal edema (abnormal corneal water retention), or some other type of corneal damage or disease.
- Corneal ulcers: This is caused by an injury or infection to one or both eyes and can cause irreparable damage to your cornea.
- Eye surgery complications: Blurred vision, cloudy vision, sensitivity to light, and excessive tearing are all complications that can occur as a result of a failed eye surgery such as LASIK.
What to Expect during a Corneal Transplant
Over a million patients in the United States have received successful corneal transplants since 1961, thanks to organ donors. Once an individual requests a corneal transplant, there is little to no wait, since cornea transplants are universal and do not depend on matching blood types.
During your initial consultation, one of our eye doctors will perform a detailed exam to ensure your eye will respond well to a cornea transplant. Once candidacy has been confirmed, cornea donor tissue will be requested, and an appointment for your procedure will be scheduled. Your doctor will give you a list of instructions to help prepare for the procedure.
Before beginning the procedure, the doctor will give you a sedative to help you relax and will numb your eye with a local anesthetic. Using state-of-art technology, your doctor will carefully make a small circular incision to remove the unhealthy corneal tissue and resize the donor tissue to fit your eye. Finally, he or she will use very fine sutures to attach the healthy donor tissue.
A corneal transplant is performed as an outpatient procedure and takes approximately two to three hours to complete. In most cases, you can expect to go home the same day as the procedure. Before releasing you, the doctor will monitor your recovery to ensure you are responding well to surgery.
Over a million people in the United States have received successful corneal transplants since 1961, thanks to organ donors.
Risks and Benefits
It is not uncommon to experience some soreness and blurriness for the first few weeks after the procedure. Your doctor will give you detailed postoperative instructions to follow to promote quick healing and ensure optimal results. After two to three weeks, you will likely notice improved vision.
Although most corneal transplants have a successful outcome, there are a few risks involved, such as infection, rejection of the tissue, increasing eye pressure, and bleeding. However, under the expert care of our experienced surgeons, your risks can be dramatically reduced.
Schedule Your Corneal Transplant Consultation Today
If you are struggling to see clearly due to corneal disease or injury and have been told that you are not a candidate for a less invasive procedure, you may be an ideal candidate for a corneal transplant. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation with one of our trusted eye doctors. They can help determine whether a corneal transplant would benefit you.