Cornea Transplants & Surgery in Portland, Maine
What Is A Corneal Transplant?
A Corneal Transplant is a type of eye surgery Dr. Sise performs in order to replace diseased, damaged or scarred corneal tissue with new healthy corneal tissue. Damaged or scarred corneal tissue does not allow light to effectively pass into the eye and reach the retina. Poor vision and even blindness may result from a damaged cornea. There are actually a number of different types of Corneal Transplants that Dr. Sise can perform, including:
Penetrating Keratoplasty (PKP)
This type of Corneal Transplant involves the surgical removal of the entire thickness of the damaged cornea. In this surgery, Dr. Sise removes the central portion of the damaged or cloudy cornea with an instrument called a trephine, and replaces it with a clear cornea obtained from a donor. He then very carefully sews the donor cornea into place using sutures that are thinner than a human hair. To facilitate the healing of the new transplanted cornea, Dr. Sise will prescribe eye drops for patients who have undergone Penetrating Keratoplasty. After many months, Dr. Sise may remove some or all of the fine sutures or stitches that were placed during the surgery. This is the most invasive type of transplant since the entire cornea is replaced and 16-20 stitches may be required. As a result, the healing time can be as long as 6-12 months and the use of a contact lens might be required for the clearest vision.
Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (ALK)
Dr. Sise may perform this type of Corneal Transplant if the damaged corneal tissue is mainly located in the outermost layers of the cornea. Essentially, Dr. Sise will carefully dissect the outermost half of the cornea and remove it along with the damaged tissue. Then a new donor cornea is sewn into place. This type of Corneal Transplant is less invasive and will allow your eye to be stronger after surgery than it would be with a regular full thickness transplant, or Penetrating Keratoplasty (PKP). However, in some cases there can be some loss of clarity from the interface between the new and remaining layers of the cornea.
Descemet’s Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK)
This type of Corneal Transplant is performed through a small incision, to remove and replace the inner cell layer of the cornea when it stops working properly. With this technique, Dr. Sise gently “strips” off the single diseased cell layer, called the Endothelium, and leaves the remaining cornea intact. Dr. Sise will then thinly slice a donor cornea from the eye bank insert it through a small incision into the eye. An air bubble is used to unfold and position the donor tissue on the recipient cornea. The transplanted layer will attach to the patient’s cornea within a few days without any stitches or glue. A single stitch is used to close the incision.
There are a number of advantages of DSAEK if you are indeed a candidate:
- Your Eye Remains Much Stronger After Surgery
- Visual Recovery is Much Quicker than a traditional transplant (usually about a month)
- DSAEK Causes Little Change in Eyeglass Prescription
Corneal Transplants have become somewhat common in the United States as a treatment for damaged and cloudy corneas. Each year more than 40,000 people undergo Corneal Transplantation to restore their vision. If Dr. Sise finds that other methods of treating your corneal disease or corneal condition are unable to restore your vision, he will fully discuss the risks and benefits of Corneal Transplantation and take the time necessary to answer all of your questions.
If you or a family member or friend needs information or an appointment regarding a Corneal Transplant or Corneal Surgery, please take a moment to call Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine at 888-374-2020.
Eyecare Medical Group Cornea Specialists offer Corneal Transplants & Surgery in Maine. We are conveniently located for patients from Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Bath, Berwick, Biddeford, Bridgton, Brunswick, Cape Neddick, Casco Bay, Cumberland Center, Eliot, Freeport, Gardiner, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach, Portland, Sanford, Scarborough, South Portland, Springvale, Topsham, Waterville, Westbrook, Winslow, Wiscasset, Yarmouth, Portland, Skowhegan and York Maine.