Eye transplant should more
specifically be called as Corneal transplant.
Only the front transparent portion of the eye, the cornea
is transplanted. The whole eye is not transplanted.
like changing the glass pane of your window, but you cannot change your
Medical term for Corneal transplant is Keratoplasty.
have heard of heart, kidney, bone marrow transplants. But you will be
surprised, Corneal transplants are the most frequent and one of the most
successful transplant operations!
Corneal transplant will help only certain type of eye
diseases that mainly affect the cornea, like
Corneal scarring, as occurs in a healed
Severe corneal infection that is not
controlled by medicines.
Corneal failure after other eye surgery, such
as Cataract Surgery
Hereditary corneal problems, such as Fuch's
Keratoconus, where the cornea becomes conical
and so thin, it may ultimately break open.
Corneal Injury after accidents
What happens after the decision for a Corneal
transplant is taken?
The patient's name will be included in an Eye Transplant
waiting list. All the required information like the age, type of corneal
diseases, urgency of the transplant will be listed. The most important
thing he should furnish is an emergency contact address and a phone
In many countries, where
facilities of phone are not available, messenger even travel to the
person's home to inform him, that his name has come up on the list and
the cornea is available!
From where does this cornea come?
Human tissue cannot be manufactured in factories. If someone needs a new cornea, someone needs to donate it.
How can one donate
The request for eye donation is made on the driver's
license. It can be made to relatives/ friends during life or at the
time of death.
Tell me more about the
Corneal transplant surgery!
The patient's consent
His eye is
anesthetized, using Local Anesthesia. A sedative is
given to keep him sleepy and calm.
After the operation is
area is cleaned with antiseptic solutions, an eye drape is
The whole surgery is
done using an Operating Microscope.
The eye is kept open
with a speculum or eyelid stitches.
The corneal is cut out
from the donated eye, with special instrument called
The patient's unhealthy
cornea is excised.
After removing any scar
tissue underneath the cornea, the donor cornea is stitched to the
patient's cornea with very fine surgical thread.
thread used in most Ophthalmic surgeries is 1/10th the thickness of
The patient may stay for
only 1-2 days in the hospital or may leave in the evening on the same
He needs to use eye
Antibiotic eye drops to
Steroid eye drops to
control inflammation and prevent transplant rejection
Cycloplegic eye drops
to keep the inner eye muscles relaxed.
Pain-killer medicines may
be required for a 1-2 days. He needs to keep his eyes protected from
dust, by using dark glasses.
What is the success rate
for Corneal transplants?
The success rate varies
with various factors like the patient's age, donor corneal quality,
surgical skills etc. But it just suffices to state that Corneal
Transplant is the most
successful transplant surgery. Corneal Graft Rejection is less common
because there are almost no blood vessels in the cornea.
Does the eye
color change after transplant surgery?
No, Since only the cornea is transplanted, the eye color
does not change.
What are the
complications of Corneal transplant surgery?
The complications of this
Inner eye swelling in
form of Uveitis
Rejection of the
Tell me more about eye
Eye donations can be pledged to an Eye-Bank
or on Driver's License or as an expressed wish before death. There is a
tremendous requirement for Eye donation.
|The Eye-Bank should be informed immediately about the
person's death. |
|The trained Eye-Bank personnel arrive as early as possible. They
need to see the Death Certificate and require the signatures
of two close relatives or friends on the Eye Donation Consent
|Their procedure takes about 30 minutes. Their is NO
disfiguration of the body.|
Most eye-banks give a Certificate of Thanks.|
|The donated eyes are transported in
special glass containers, kept in ice-cooled flasks.|
|The donated cornea are checked for
their quality and after absence of any disease is confirmed, it is
approved for Transplant.|
|The Race, sex, caste, creed of the
donor do not make any difference to the success of the procedure.|
Even the white of the donor eye, the
Sclera, is not wasted. Banked Sclera is used in other eye diseases.
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