Atrium Health Navicent Ophthalmology Macon

Corneal Transplant Surgery

Corneal transplant surgery, which is also called corneal grafting consists of two types: Penetrating keratoplasty in which the entire thickness of the cornea (all five tissue layers) is replaced with a donor tissue and lamellar keratoplasty which involves removing only partial layers of the cornea. Donor corneas are provided through eye banks that obtain corneas from decedents who signed consent forms authorizing the removal of their corneas for this purpose.

Penetrating traditional corneal transplants may still be the most viable option for individuals who are suffering from severe corneal scarring. More recently, however, ophthalmologic surgeons have opted to replace selected corneal layers rather than all corneal layers when a corneal disease is restricted to a particular layer of the cornea.

Corneal transplants are typically performed on an outpatient basis. Your surgeon will use a specially engineered microscope and several fine delicate instruments to perform the surgery. You will be required to use medicated eye drops to prevent rejection of the graft.

The long-term success rates for corneal transplants are high. Approximately 90 percent of patients with keratoconus, 70 percent of patients with Fuch's dystrophy, and 60 to 70 percent of patients with severe corneal scarring enjoyed a marked improvement in their vision after penetrating keratoplasties that lasted for at least 10 years.