When Is A Cornea Transplant Necessary

The cornea is the “front window” of your eye, covering the colored iris and round, dark pupil. Light is focused while passing through the cornea, allowing you to see. A healthy, clear cornea is necessary for good vision. If injured or affected by disease, it may become swollen, scarred or irregularly shaped, and its smoothness and clarity may be lost. A corneal transplant may be needed if vision cannot be corrected satisfactorily with eyeglasses or contact lenses, or if painful swelling cannot be relieved by medications or special contact lenses.

How Does A Corneal Transplant Work? 

With traditional full corneal transplant surgery (known as penetrating keratoplasty), a circular portion is removed from the center of the diseased cornea. A matching circular area is removed from the center of a healthy, clear donor cornea, placed into position and sutured into place.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Cornea Replacement?

The surgery usually lasts 45 – 60 minutes. For a few days up to two weeks, you might experience eye irritation, tearing and discomfort. However, expect better vision in 1 – 3 months, with continued improvement as the cornea repairs itself over a period of 6 – 24 months. You may still require glasses after cornea surgery to achieve the best vision.