Cornea Transplants & Surgery

What Is A Corneal Transplant?

Closeup of an Eye That Has Had a Cornea TransplantA 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:

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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 newly 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).