The cornea is the clear covering of the eye over the colored iris and the pupil.
Corneal transplantation is recommended for:
- severe corneal infection, injury, damage, or scarring
- corneas that no longer allow light to pass through (opaque), often secondary to lens surgery (see cataract surgery), infections, and inherited diseases of the cornea.
Corneal transplant is done with the patient awake and pain-free (local anesthesia). An incision is made around the outer edge of the cornea.
The damaged cornea is removed and the corneal graft is stitched in place. The corneal graft is a transplant from a brain dead donor maintained on life support.
Transplanted corneas have a long life expectancy. The benefits of corneal transplant are significant, and include significant improvement in vision.
Brian S. Boxer Wachler, MD, Opthamologist, Boxler Wachler Vision Institute, Beverly Hills, California; Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington; Franklin W. Lusby, MD, Ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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