What is a corneal transplant?
It is an operation in which part of your cornea is removed and replaced with a similar piece of cornea from a donor eye. The type of transplant that you are suitable for will depend from the disease affecting your cornea and will be discussed and explained to you at the time of your consultation.
The cornea is the window at the front of the eye. In the normal eye the cornea is transparent. Light is able to enter the eye through the clear cornea, pass through the clear lens to focus on the retina at the back of the eye. When the cornea is deformed or damaged from injury or disease, the path of light to the retina is distorted. The picture that the retina passes to the brain is not clear and sight becomes distorted or patchy.
Reasons for a corneal transplant:
The chief function of the cornea is to help focus and transmit light. When this is interfered with by either irregularity, scarring or waterlogging and cannot be helped any more by any other treatment (eye drops, drugs, spectacles or contact lenses) a corneal graft may be performed to:
- improve your sight,
- alleviate your pain, or
- repair a perforation (if your cornea has ruptured).