Common Specialities
{{speciality.keyWord}}
Common Issues
{{issue.keyWord}}
Common Treatments
{{treatment.keyWord}}

Overview

Corneal Transplant: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Corneal grafting.

How is the treatment done?

Corneal transplantation, also known as corneal grafting, is a surgical procedure where a damaged or diseased cornea is replaced by donated corneal tissue (the graft). When the entire cornea is replaced it is known as penetrating keratoplasty and when only part of the cornea is replaced it is known as lamellar keratoplasty. Keratoplasty simply means surgery to the cornea. The graft is taken from a recently dead individual with no known diseases or other factors that may affect the chance of survival of the donated tissue or the health of the recipient.The cornea is the transparent front part of the eye that covers the iris, pupil and anterior chamber. The surgical procedure is performed by ophthalmologists, physicians who specialize in eyes, and is often done on an outpatient basis.

Donors can be of any age. The corneal transplantation is performed when medicines, keratoconus conservative surgery and cross-linking cannot heal the cornea anymore.The risks are similar to other intraocular procedures, but additionally include graft rejection (lifelong), detachment or displacement of lamellar transplants and primary graft failure.There is also a risk of infection. Since the cornea has no blood vessels (it takes its nutrients from the aqueous humor) it heals much more slowly than a cut on the skin. While the wound is healing, it is possible that it might become infected by various microorganisms. This risk is minimized by antibiotic prophylaxis (using antibiotic eyedrops, even when no infection exists).

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

On the day of the surgery, the patient arrives to either a hospital or an outpatient surgery center, where the procedure will be performed. The patient is given a brief physical examination by the surgical team and is taken to the operating room. In the operating room, the patient lies down on an operating table and is either given general anesthesia, or local anesthesia and a sedative.With anesthesia induced, the surgical team prepares the eye to be operated on and drapes the face around the eye. An eyelid speculum is placed to keep the lids open, and some lubrication is placed on the eye to prevent drying. In children, a metal ring is stitched to the sclera which will provide support of the sclera during the procedure most instances, the person will meet with their ophthalmologist for an examination in the weeks or months preceding the surgery. During the exam, the ophthalmologist will examine the eye and diagnose the condition.

The doctor will then discuss the condition with the patient, including the different treatment options available. The doctor will also discuss the risks and benefits of the various options. If the patient elects to proceed with the surgery, the doctor will have the patient sign an informed consent form. The doctor might also perform a physical examination and order lab tests, such as blood work, X-rays, or an EKG.The surgery date and time will also be set, and the patient will be told where the surgery will take place. Within the United States, the supply of corneas is sufficient to meet the demand for surgery and research purposes. Therefore, unlike other tissues for transplantation, delays and shortages are not usually an issue.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Any cornea deemed suitable for transplantation can be grafted into any recipient, regardless of recipient age, race, and blood type. Eye banks, in concert with guidance from the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), help set policies and procedures that guide suitability determinations for cornea transplantation and proper storage and handling of transplant tissue. There is a 24-hour window of opportunity from the time of a donor's death to procure a cornea and place it in storage media. Unlike organ donation, in which procurement is extremely limited by time and the immediate availability of a potential recipient, corneoscleral tissue can be stored and used up to 14 days after procurement before it expires.

Are there any side effects?

The bottom line is that for the vast majority of transplants for endothelial failure, the donor age does not matter much. More concerned factor is about the health of the tissue. It is to be admitted now would not never be eager for tissue from donors older than 72 years of age. If anything, these results will encourage me to use older donor tissue (but only in my older patients), because the results were not markedly different from those in the younger donors. For (the rare) very young patients with endothelial disease, younger donor tissue would be tried. The Corneal Preservation Time Study, which is currently completing enrollment, is looking at graft survival after DSEK.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

The side effects of cornea graft need to be known well in advance of the surgery, so that you can handle them. Though the full recovery time of eyesight can last as long as a year, the clear vision, or the effect of cornea transplant also lasts for a long time, if not forever. Temporary and common complications include: Redness of eye,Sensitivity to light,Flashing lights/floaters in your field of vision ,Slight discomfort ,Pain in the eyes,Nausea.Any of the above mentioned side effects, if experienced, need to be conveyed to the doctor in order for you to prevent their aggravation at a later stage. The surgery and the organ on which it is performed is delicate. Remember, the eye is at risk of further damage in the absence of adequate care, before, as well as after the surgery.

How long does it take to recover?

You must not rub or touch your eye postoperatively. Avoid getting water and soap into your operated eye for one to two 1–2 months. An important after care step is to stay away from dusty and crowded environments. Avoid strenuous exercises for four to six 4–6 weeks. Swimming and contact sports should also be restricted for 6–9 months, until all recovery stages are complete.You will need to wear an eye shield when you sleep to prevent rubbing your operated eye during sleep. Wear sunglasses to avoid excessive glare when you go outdoors. Some patients require medication for at least a year. These drops include antibiotics to prevent infection as well as corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and prevent graft rejection.For the first few days after surgery, the eye may feel scratchy and irritated. Vision will be somewhat blurry for as long as several months.Sutures are often left in place for six months, and occasionally for as long as two years. Some surgeons may prescribe rigid contact lenses to reduce corneal astigmatism that follows corneal transplant.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Patients can expect restored vision after the healing process is complete. In some patients, this might take as long as a year. Patients with keratoconus, corneal scars, early bullous keratopathy, or corneal stromal dystrophies have the highest rate of transplant success. Corneal transplants for keratoconus patients have a success rate of more than 90%.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Cornea transplant is one of the most common transplant treatments worldwide and nearly all major hospitals in major cities across the world provide this facility.The price ranges from Rs 1.5 Lakh to Rs.1.7 Lakh in India.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Corneal transplants are highly successful, with over 90% of the operations in United States achieving restoration of sight. However, there is always some risk associated with any surgery.Most people experience at least partial restoration of their sight, and some will continue to require prescription eyewear. Full recovery may take up to a year, but recovery times are decreasing as techniques improve.

Safety: Treatment Effectiveness: High Timeliness: High Relative Risk: Low Side Effects: High Time For Recovery: High Price Range:

Rs1.5 lakhs - 1.7 lakhs

Popular Health Tips

Corneal Surgery - What Is It?

FAECS, DNB Ophtalmology, DO Ophthalmology, Fellowship In Phacoemulsification & Refractive Surgery
Ophthalmologist, Indore
Corneal Surgery - What Is It?

The cornea refers to the dome-like structure visible at the front of the eye. This is the outermost layer of the eye. The cornea protects the eye against germs, dirt and other harmful particles and helps focus light coming into the eye onto the retina to create an image. It also acts as a filter against UV radiation produced by the sun. In the case of injuries to the cornea due to scarring or eye diseases a corneal transplant may be advised. This is also known as keratoplasty.

The first step for a corneal transplant is to add the patient’s name to the transplant list at the local eye bank. A transplant can only be performed after a donor's eye is made available. The surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure and takes a maximum of 2 hours.

Local or general anaesthesia may be used for this procedure depending on the patient’s age, overall health and personal preference. A lid speculum is then used to keep the eyelids open through the surgery. A circular section of the injured cornea is then removed using a surgical tool or a laser beam. A matching section from the donor cornea is then used to replace the removed section and stitched into place. These stitches usually stay in place for a year after the surgery.

The healing of the cornea is a slow process and hence to prevent any injuries to the eye, a protective shield is usually worn over the eye for a few months. Patients may experience mild discomfort and blurred vision for the first few months after surgery. Steroid eye drops may also be prescribed to help the body accept the transplant and control infections. These eye drops will need to be used for up to a year after the surgery. As the cornea heals, the patient’s vision will improve. The results of a corneal transplant are said to have a life of about 10 years. However, this depends on the root cause of the problem.

Corneal transplants have a very high success rate but in rare cases, the eye may reject the transplant. Glaucoma and corneal swelling caused by an earlier cataract surgery can increase this risk. However, if this rejection is detected early enough, the process can be reversed. Some signs to look out for that may indicate that your body is rejecting the transplant are increased sensitivity to light, redness, pain and decreased vision.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2339 people found this helpful

Eye Donation - Important Facts That You Must Know!

MS - Ophthalmology
Ophthalmologist, Jabalpur
Eye Donation - Important Facts That You Must Know!

If you’ve ever played Blind Man’s Buff you know how helpless it can feel to be unable to see. While some people are born blind, others lose sight as a result of health issues, accidents etc. Imagine how a person would feel to be able to see something for the first time or to regain their sight?

Every human being with sight can choose to donate their eyes after their death and gift another person vision. When it comes to eye donation, there is no restriction on the person’s age or overall health. Even a person who has had surgery on their eyes can choose to donate them as long as the cornea is unaffected. It is not only noble but the thought of being able to give some a chance to see the world with your eyes can give you immense joy.

However, just a thought is not enough, there are few other facts to be kept in mind before going for eye donation:

  1. Eyes need to be donated within 6 hours of a person’s death: For your eyes to be viable for a donation they must be harvested within 6 hours of death. Thus, if you choose to be a donor, it is important for you to inform your family and friends of this decision. Eye donation can also be authorized by the deceased’s next of kin.
  2. Donation does not cost money: There are no costs involved in donating your eyes. Profiting by buying and selling human organs and tissues is a criminal at and can be punishable by law.
  3. The whole eye is not transplanted: The most common cause of blindness is a damaged or diseased cornea. Thus, only this area is transplanted to enable a person to see. The cornea is a thin, transparent flap located in front of the colored part of the eye. Thus, donating eyes does not disfigure the deceased person in any way.
  4. Even people who wear spectacles can donate their eyes: Short sightedness or far sightedness are conditions caused by irregularities with the lens inside the eye and do not affect the cornea. Thus these conditions do not interfere with their ability to donate their eyes after death. Even people who have been operated upon for cataracts, retinal detachments or glaucoma may choose to donate their eyes. It is even possible for a person who has received a corneal transplant to donate their eyes as long as the cornea is healthy and clear.
  5. Corneal Transplants have a high success rate: There is no blood supply to the cornea and hence there is a very low risk of the body rejecting a donor cornea. In many cases, this rejection can be treated and suppressed with medication.

Though over 30,000 corneas are donated and transplanted each year, there is still a long waiting list at eye banks. Thus, it time you take a pledge to make someone else's life beautiful. Do not think twice about donating your eyes and encourage people around you to do so as well. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Ophthalmologist.

4090 people found this helpful

Corneal Diseases - 10 Most Important & Common Facts About It!

ABC
Ophthalmologist, Jodhpur
Corneal Diseases - 10 Most Important & Common Facts About It!

The cornea is a highly organized and advanced tissue present in the eye. It is one of the few tissues in the body that doesn't contain any blood vessels. It nourishes itself from the aqueous humor (or tears). The cornea has three different layers with two membranes embedded in it. Every membrane has its own set of functions.

Here is a list of 10 important facts about the cornea and corneal diseases:

  1. The cornea plays a pivotal role in helping the eye to focus on the light rays that enter it. Approximately 70 percent of the focusing power comes from the cornea. The cornea, along with the lens, is responsible for reflection and refraction in the eye.
  2. The epithelium is the outermost layer of the cornea. It restricts the entry of foreign particles into the eye and absorbs oxygen. This membrane is followed by the Bowman's membrane. The third layer is known as the stroma. It is responsible for the eye's elasticity and strength. The fourth layer is called the Descemet's membrane. This is a protective layer that safeguards the eye from any injury. The last layer is known as the endothelium. The primary task of this layer is to pump excess fluid into the other layers of the eye.
  3. Tears play a key role for an eye to function properly. Tears have three layers, namely lipid, aqueous and mucin. It helps the eye to heal any possible wounds and infection.
  4. The cornea, for the most part, heals by itself. Deeper injuries of the cornea can result in vision loss. Some of the common symptoms of corneal diseases are light sensitivity, pain in the eye, redness and reduced vision.
  5. The most common of eye allergies are caused due to pollen. This often happens when the weather is dry or warm. Some common symptoms include burning sensation, redness, tearing and stinging.
  6. The eye encounters a condition called 'dry eye' wherein the quantity of tears reduces, thereby creating a problem for lubrication. An ophthalmologist should be immediately consulted if this condition is encountered.
  7. Corneal dystrophy is a condition that clouds the cornea. It is a gradual progression and often affects both the eyes. It is usually inherited and can affect healthy individuals as well.
  8. Keratoconus is an eye condition that thins the cornea over a period of time. It is mostly prevalent among young adults. This condition results in changing the shape of the cornea and development of an outward bulge.
  9. Shingles is a recurrence of the viral infection caused by the Vatic El - La Zoster Virus. This virus has the capability to remain dormant inside the eye. It can become active after many years of dormancy and affect the cornea by travelling through the optic nerve. Doctors mostly prescribe an oral antiviral treatment to avoid inflammation.
  10. Some advanced treatment for corneal diseases includes corneal transplant surgery, anterior lamellar keratoplasty and endothelial lamellar keratoplasty.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

6192 people found this helpful

Know The Facts About the Cornea and Corneal Diseases!

MBBS, MS - Ophthalmology, DNB - Ophthalmology , Fellowship in Cornea and Anterior Segment, Fellowship in Phacoemulsification
Ophthalmologist, Vadodara
Know The Facts About the Cornea and Corneal Diseases!

The cornea is a highly organized and advanced tissue present in the eye. It is one of the few tissues in the body that doesn't contain any blood vessels. It nourishes itself from the aqueous humor (or tears). The cornea has three different layers with two membranes embedded in it. Every membrane has its own set of functions.

Here is a list of 10 important facts about the cornea and corneal diseases:

  1. The cornea plays a pivotal role in helping the eye to focus on the light rays that enter it. Approximately 70 percent of the focusing power comes from the cornea. The cornea, along with the lens, is responsible for reflection and refraction in the eye.
  2. The epithelium is the outermost layer of the cornea. It restricts the entry of foreign particles into the eye and absorbs oxygen. This membrane is followed by the Bowman's membrane. The third layer is known as the stroma. It is responsible for the eye's elasticity and strength. The fourth layer is called the Descemet's membrane. This is a protective layer that safeguards the eye from any injury. The last layer is known as the endothelium. The primary task of this layer is to pump excess fluid into the other layers of the eye.
  3. Tears play a key role for an eye to function properly. Tears have three layers, namely lipid, aqueous and mucin. It helps the eye to heal any possible wounds and infection.
  4. The cornea, for the most part, heals by itself. Deeper injuries of the cornea can result in vision loss. Some of the common symptoms of corneal diseases are light sensitivity, pain in the eye, redness and reduced vision.
  5. The most common of eye allergies are caused due to pollen. This often happens when the weather is dry or warm. Some common symptoms include burning sensation, redness, tearing and stinging.
  6. The eye encounters a condition called 'dry eye' wherein the quantity of tears reduces, thereby creating a problem for lubrication. An ophthalmologist should be immediately consulted if this condition is encountered.
  7. Corneal dystrophy is a condition that clouds the cornea. It is a gradual progression and often affects both the eyes. It is usually inherited and can affect healthy individuals as well.
  8. Keratoconus is an eye condition that thins the cornea over a period of time. It is mostly prevalent among young adults. This condition results in changing the shape of the cornea and development of an outward bulge.
  9. Shingles is a recurrence of the viral infection caused by the Vatic El - La Zoster Virus. This virus has the capability to remain dormant inside the eye. It can become active after many years of dormancy and affect the cornea by travelling through the optic nerve. Doctors mostly prescribe an oral antiviral treatment to avoid inflammation.
  10. Some advanced treatment for corneal diseases includes corneal transplant surgery, anterior lamellar keratoplasty and endothelial lamellar keratoplasty.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

 

4253 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

I had corneal transplant two years after an accident though am alright now bt still sometimes I feel depressed about future so I need some advice and help regarding that.

MD - Psychiatry, MBBS
Psychiatrist,
Hi lybrate-user if the feeling of depression is only sometimes then its ok, but if it persist for more than 2 weeks and you feel problamatic due to it, then it could be initiation of depression. Do regular physical activity, try to relaxe yourself, have appropriate food and sleep. If it still persist feel free to text me for more help.

What is the cost of eye transplant? After having eye transplant the problem of Glaucoma will come out fully or not?

MD - Ophthalmology, MBBS
Ophthalmologist,
Eye transplantatiion - only corneal transplantation is done and is useful for corneal problems only. This is not useful for glaucoma.

Treated for herpes suggest by medanta doctors for corneal transplant but others doctors suggest that chance of improving vision are very minor and it may or may not be successful so please continue with the medicines used by you. Please advise

DOMS
Ophthalmologist, Nagpur
If corneal opacity is dense and causing vision problem then Keratoplasty/DALK (deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty, depending upon scarring) is the answer, please wait for disease to stabilize, approximately wait for resolution and quite eye say 5-6 months before going for keratoplasty procedure. Patients with active inflammation, active ulceration, perforation, or extensive neovascularization had particularly poor success rates. Post op systemic Acyclovir is also indicated.

Is there any treatment. For keratoconus. Other than cornea. Transplantation. Please advise.

MD-Ophthalmology
Ophthalmologist, Srinagar
Corneal transplant is the last resort when every other things fails. Initial management, if your keratoconus is progressing will be collagen crosslinking. If it gets stable you will have to use rigid gas permeable contact lenses, in most cases. However is astigmatism is not much spectacles or soft contact lens may suffice. Intacs is a procedure which can be done along with collagen crosslinkingcrosslinking. If cornea becomes too much thin or if there occurs corneal opacity, not correctable by contact lens, then you may have to undergo corneal transplant.

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
Play video
Corneal Transplantation Procedure
Good morning friends.

I m Dr. Harshavardhan Ghorpade from the department of visual sciences DOVS from Fortis hospital Vashi, Mumbai and Saroj Speciality Eye Clinic Vashi, New Mumbai. I have done my MS. FRCS and I m a cataract, cornea and a refractive eye surgeon practicing here in New Mumbai. You can get back to me on lybrate.com and know more about me.

Today I m going to talk to you about very interesting topic about recent advances in corneal surgeries. Now first of all let me start by telling you what is cornea. The Cornea is the front surface of the eye, the black thing you see at the center of the eye. It is actually very transparent and the black color comes from behind i.e. from the iris. This transparent structure is responsible for most of our vision. The other organ or other part which is responsible for most of our vision is the lens that lies behind the iris. So the cornea helps us to focus light on the retina which then transmits it to the brain. If this cornea is opaque then the light will not be transmitted and you will not see clearly. As a result of which we need to do something about it and the most important thing is to do is to replace the cornea with another cornea which comes from a donor and, therefore, donation of eyes after death is a very important act because you helped the next person who is blind to see again. But you should remember that while doing a corneal surgery we only replacing the front part of the eye and not the entire eye. So, now talking about the recent advances corneal surgery we thought that only one cornea could be used per person but today we are doing microsurgery in the cornea as well we are dissenting the cornea into multiple parts and therefore one single eye can help three other eyes. How is that? So, we have three parts of the cornea: the front, the middle and the back. The front part is called Epithelium the middle is Trauma and the inner is Endothelium. Periphery to these are stem cells which are called as limbal stem cells. Now if you have one donation we can dissect the cornea into the front and the back part. The back part can be use for replacing the back part of a damaged cornea and this called as DSEK Descemet Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty which is a surgery where the inner part is replaced. In other cases where you have the front part involved where there is opacity because of say infection then we removed only the front part of the cornea and it is called as DALK Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty where we use only the front part of the donated cornea and then use the back part to some other person. Now the third part of the cornea is the Limbal stem cells, these limbal stem cells are responsible for growing a new layer on the cornea. however if they are damaged e.g. in acid injuries or alkali injuries or any other chemical injury then they don t grow and this front part of the cornea gets completely opaque now we need to replace these stem cells from where do we get them. We get them from the other eye if it is normal or we can take it from a donor may be a relative or a dead person. Once you get these stem cells they can then be implanted into the eye which called as stem cell transplant and then they grow back on the surface leading to clear and very crystal clear front surface of the eye. These stem cells are very much important for overall health of the cornea. So as I have discussed the various advances i have now helped us to donate cornea and makes you full use of it for three different persons; the front part, the back part and the stem cells. So what are you waiting for? Go to the eye bank and get yourself registered for eye donation and remember eye donation can only be made after death so you don t have to worry. After that you make other person see and you will also see the world through them.

Thank you very much.
Play video
Cornea
Here are health facts of Cornea

Hi, I am Dr. Bhupesh Singh. I am a cornea specialist at Bharti Eye Hospital, New Delhi.

So, the Cornea is a transparent structure in the eye which becomes white or opaque due to various process like eye infection, some injury to the eye or some other pathology. For treating the Opacity of the cornea, Cornea transplantation is a very good option. In Cornea transplantation, we place the donor cornea to the patient with the help of stitches. After corneal transplantation, usual recovery is within a period of 3 months, Patient is able to see nicely after 3 months. Cornea transplantation can be done under local or general anesthesia depending on the patient s age.

So, in conclusion, I would like to say cornea transplantation is a very good option for removing the corneal opacity. Thank you.
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice