The cornea is a clear, dome-shaped tissue that sits on the frontal portion of our eyes thus protecting our eyes from dust, germs and other foreign particles. Apart from the tasked with the protecting our eyes, it also permits light to enter our eyes, thus helping us with vision. Corneal tissues are typically self-healing tissues that can heal minor injuries quickly before you experience any kind of vision difficulty. But in certain cases when the injury or damage is severe or the cornea gets affected with some inherited disease like Fuchs dystrophy or keratoconus - a condition under which the cornea thins out and loses shape, then your ophthalmologist might prescribe you to undergo corneal graft or corneal transplant treatment. Corneal transplant – as the name implies – is a form of transplantation or replacement treatment wherein the damaged cornea is replaced with healthy tissues. This transplantation treatment can be done in 3 ways:
Penetrating keratoplasty (PK) i.e. replacing all the layers of your cornea with donor tissues.
Deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK) i.e. replacing or reshaping just the outer and middle layers of the cornea.
Endothelial keratoplasty i.e. replacing the back layers of the cornea.
No matter which form of transplantation treatment you opt to go with, the surgical procedure is carried out under local anaesthesia and takes not more than an hours' time to get completed. Depending on your condition, your doctor might allow you to leave the hospital either on the same day or he might also suggest an overnight stay. Speaking about the recovery time of corneal transplantation, it typically takes about 12-18 months of time before one can realise the full and final results of the transplantation, although glasses and contact lenses are usually provided much earlier so as to enable a person get clear vision. However, taking good post-operative care of your eyes ensures speedy recovery.