Ophthalmic advices:Corneal transplant

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Corneal transplant is a surgical procedure of the ocular surface, in which a diseased cornea is replaced often obscured by transparent healthy. The cornea is the transparent anterior portion of the eye that covers the anterior segment and allows passage of light allowing vision. The cornea is the main lens of the eye. Sick or injured corneas often cause less vision, are altered in transparency being opaque, or irregular shape being also in some cases can cause pain and discomfort.


The action of corneal transplantation is to replace the cornea or diseased part of the cornea otherwise healthy. Diseased cornea through a circular cut is removed, the healthy donor cornea is positioned in place and several sutures are placed so that it is held in place. The corneal transplant surgery may be all layers of the cornea (penetrating keratoplasty) or only a portion (eg endothelial keratoplasty) depending on the diseased areas.


The indication for corneal transplantation is corneal diseases, such as keratoconus, dystrophies (eg, Fuchs' dystrophy), decompensation, scarring after infections (eg herpes) or trauma and burns. Surgery is necessary if the vision can not be improved with glasses or contact lenses, or if pain can not be relieved with treatment is presented.


The decision for surgery should be in accordance with the patient and the ophthalmologist, assessing the characteristics and needs of the patient and the characteristics of the eye and cornea. It requires a complete eye exam and in many cases supported by additional studies.


The corneal transplant surgery is performed in most cases general anesthesia, ie the patient asleep. The procedure takes approximately 1 hour.

The outcome of surgery depends on the state and condition of the eye before surgery. Recovery may be slow and depends partly on the removal of the sutures that can take several months. In many cases, contact lenses are needed to have a better quality of vision.

The surgical procedure is successful in most cases, although it can take more than one surgery. The main cause of failure of surgery is the appearance of corneal rejection, which if present typically appears during the first year of operation. It is necessary to closely monitor the patient.