Good vision depends on a healthy, good cornea. What is the cornea? It’s the transparent, dome-shaped surface of your eye that accounts for a large part of the eye’s focusing power and ability. The cornea bends light rays as they enter the eye. To do so correctly, the cornea must have the correct shape and clarity. This allows it to focus the incoming light rays precisely on the retina at the back of the eye.
Sometimes the cornea becomes cloudy or misshapen due to injury, infection, or disease, so a corneal transplant is performed to give the patient a new cornea. This is one of the procedures Dr. Groat performs at Cape Fear Cataract & Cornea.
What is a corneal transplant?
A corneal transplant is a surgical procedure that replaces part of your cornea with corneal tissue from a donor. There are two main types of corneal transplants, clinically known as keratoplasty — full thickness cornea transplant and back layer cornea transplant. Dr. Groat performs both types of these procedures at Cape Fear.
Who is a candidate for a corneal transplant?
Corneal eye disease is the fourth most common cause of blindness. It affects over 10 million people worldwide. If your cornea is damaged due to disease or injury, it can become swollen, scarred, or severely misshapen and this distorts your vision. A cornea transplant could be necessary if eyeglasses or contact lenses can no longer correct the vision enough to be functional. Sometimes, painful swelling can also dictate a transplant.
These are some conditions that can be treated with a cornea transplant:
- An outwardly bulging cornea
- Fuch’s dystrophy
- A thinning cornea
- Clouding of the cornea
- Cornea scarring from injury or infection
- Swelling of the cornea
- Corneal ulcers
- Complications from previous eye surgery
How is a corneal transplant done?
In the most common type of transplant, the full thickness transplant, Dr. Groat cuts through the entire thickness of the abnormal or diseased cornea, removing a circular disc of tissue. To do this precisely, a tool called a trephine is used.
Next, the donor cornea is cut to fit the same size of the tissue removed. It is then placed in the space of the removed circle. This new cornea is stitched into place and the procedure is complete.
Do you have symptoms of cornea damage? Call Dr. Groat at Cape Fear Cataract & Cornea, (910) 769-4590, and let’s see what’s going on.