About Cornea Transplant

Cornea transplant (also called Keratoplasty) is a surgical procedure to replace part of the cornea with corneal tissue from a donor. The cornea is the transparent dome shaped surface of the eye, which accounts for a large part of the eyes focusing power. With a cornea transplant the vision can be restored, pain can be reduced and the appearance of damaged or diseased cornea can be improved. Mostly all cornea transplant procedures are successful but of course there can be some complications. Cornea transplant is often used to restore vision for patients with a damaged cornea. There are various conditions that can be treated with a cornea transplant such as

  • Keratoconus
  • Fuchs’ dystrophy
  • Thinning of the cornea
  • Cornea scarring caused by infection or injury
  • Cornea scarring caused by trichiasis
  • Clouding of the cornea
  • Swelling of the cornea
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Complications caused by previous eye surgery

Cornea Transplant Procedure

The surgery is done with local anesthetic and the patient will be given a sedative to relax. There are different types of cornea transplant techniques such as

Penetrating Keratoplasty – this is the most common type of surgery. The surgeon will cut through the entire thickness of the diseased cornea to remove a small sized disc of the corneal tissue using an instrument called trephine or femtosecond laser. The donor cornea will be cut to fit and then placed into the opening. The surgeon will then use a fine thread to stitch the new cornea into place. Stitches can be removed on a later visit to the eye doctor. This type of surgery usually takes from 1 to 2 hours.

Deep Lamellar Transplant – replaces the innermost layer of the cornea’s 5 layers. A small incision is made in the side of the eyeball to allow the removal of the cornea’s inner layer without damaging the outer layers. The removed layer is replaced with a donor graft.

Surface Lamellar Transplant – outer layers of the cornea that are damaged are replaced using a donor graft.

Suitable Patients for a Cornea Transplant

  • Patients are suitable if they have a considerable corneal deterioration
  • Both male and female patients over the age of 18
  • Patients must be at a good health condition and healthy both mentally and physically

Before Cornea Transplant

  • Before the surgery patients will undergo a thorough eye examination.
  • Measurements of the eye will be done to determine the size of the donor cornea needed.
  • Medication and herbal supplements need to be stopped taking a week before the surgery.
  • Patients need to arrange for someone to assist to them to the surgery and home from the surgery as the eye will be covered with eye patch and guidance will be needed.

After Cornea Transplant

  • Patients will be prescribed medication such as eye drops and oral medications after the transplant to prevent infection and pain to occur.
  • Patients are advised to wear an eye patch to protect the eye as it heals after the surgery.
  • The eye must be protected very well after the surgery and patients must get back to their old activities slowly.

Risks of Cornea Transplants

Cornea transplant is a safe procedure but still does carry a small risk of serious complications such as

  • Eye infection
  • Cataract
  • Glaucoma
  • Problems with stitches
  • Rejection of the donor
  • Swelling of the cornea

In some cases the body’s immune system can attack the donor cornea and this is called rejection. It may require medical treatment or another cornea transplant. If there are any signs of the symptoms below then contact your eye doctor

  • Loss of vision
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Sensitivity to light

First day of Cornea Transplant

The patients will attend a consultation with the doctor and will be advised about the procedure and their condition. Patients and the donor will need to undergo a couple of tests which are required to ensure that the patient and donor is at a suitable health condition for a transplant. Once all tests are done and the results are suitable for the transplantation process, the patient will be placed in a private room to prepare for the transplantation. Once everything is ready the transplantation will be performed. It will take around 1 to 2 hours to perform. Once the transplantation is over the patient will be taken to a private room to rest and then will be discharged from hospital once they are feeling good.

Third day of Cornea Transplant

The patient will attend a check-up. If everything is good then the patient will be able to return to their destination.

Notes

• Trip schedule may vary. medicTurkey patient relations will provide you a detailed trip schedule before the travel.

• For details on accommodation, transportation and other services, please check the SERVICES page.

What is a Cornea Transplant?

Cornea transplant (also called Keratoplasty) is a surgical procedure to replace part of the cornea with corneal tissue from a donor. The cornea is the transparent dome shaped surface of the eye, which accounts for a large part of the eyes focusing power. With a cornea transplant the vision can be restored, pain can be reduced and the appearance of damaged or diseased cornea can be improved.

How is a Cornea Transplant done?

The surgery is done with local anesthetic and the patient will be given a sedative to relax. There are different types of cornea transplant techniques such as

  • Penetrating Keratoplasty
  • Deep lamellar transplant

Surface lamellar transplant

How long does a Cornea Transplant surgery take?

Cornea transplant surgery is usually done using the penetrating Keratoplasty technique and takes between 1 to 2 hours to perform.

Do I need to stay at hospital?

The surgery is performed on an outpatient basis so the patient is sent home a few hours after the surgery.

Who can have a Cornea Transplant surgery?

Cornea transplant surgery is suitable for both male and female adults over the age of 20 and who are suffering from

  • Keratoconus – cornea that bulges outwards
  • Fuchs’ dystrophy
  • Thinning of the cornea
  • Cornea scarring caused by infection or injury
  • Cornea scarring caused by trichiasis
  • Clouding of the cornea
  • Swelling of the cornea
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Complications caused by previous eye surgery

When can I return to work?

Patients are usually able to return to work after 2 to 3 weeks from the surgery.

Are there any risks of Cornea Transplant?

Just like every surgery there are some risks such as

  • Eye infection
  • Cataract
  • Glaucoma
  • Problems with stitches
  • Rejection of the donor
  • Swelling of the cornea

In some cases, the body’s immune system can attack the donor cornea and this is called rejection. It may require medical treatment or another cornea transplant. If there are any signs of the symptoms below then contact your eye doctor

  • Loss of vision
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Sensitivity to light
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Devices used in Cornea Transplant

There are no special devices used in Cornea Transplant.

Operation Price Stay in hospital Stay in Turkey
Cornea Transplantation Please fill in
a form to learn
about the pricing.
2 Days
(the duration can
change depending on
the treatment performed)
2 Weeks

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