Though appearing to be a single clear membrane, the cornea comprises of the five distinct layers of tissue, each with its own individual function. The epithelium is the thin outermost layer of fast-growing and easily-regenerated cells. A cornea transplant, also called keratoplasty, is a surgical procedure to replace part of your cornea with corneal tissue from a donor. The cornea is a transparent and dome-shaped surface of the eye that represents a large part of the eye's focusing power. If the cornea no longer lets light enter your eye properly because of scarring or disease, you may need a transplant and this is called keratoplasty.
During the procedure, an eye surgeon removes a portion of your cornea and replaces it with a new section from a donor. The operation itself will usually last about 20 to 30 minutes for DSAEK surgery and about 40 to 45 minutes for conventional corneal transplant surgery. The cornea tends to heal slowly so to keep it safe and to be cautious after the surgery, the doctor may ask you to wear a protective shield over the eyes. You would need to use eye-drops for at least several months after the transplant. The stitches may remain in your eye for months or years
The average cost of the surgery may differ from person to person. The prices vary in case of the type of surgery performed. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a corneal transplant generally costs higher when done as an ambulatory procedure as compared to when performed as an inpatient surgery.
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