How Can I Tell If I Need a Corneal Transplant?

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Having healthy corneas is essential for clear vision and the overall comfort of your eyes as well. In some cases, the cornea can become damaged, misshapen, infected, or otherwise compromised, leaving patients with a number of frustrating and even painful symptoms. At Precision Surgery Center of Napa Valley, our expert team of ophthalmologists believes that everyone deserves to see the world through clear, healthy eyes and is proud to help restore patients’ vision through advanced corneal transplant surgery.

What does the cornea do?

The cornea is the clear, dome-shaped, front-most structure of the eye. The cornea serves several critical purposes, including helping the eye to refract light properly and protecting the inner structures of the eyes.

What happens if your cornea gets damaged?

In some situations, the cornea can become damaged or compromised, which can adversely impact a patient’s vision. Some of the most common causes of corneal damage include:

  • Trauma
  • Injury
  • Infection
  • Fuchs' dystrophy
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Keratoconus
  • Keratitis
  • Surgical complications
  • Swelling in the cornea
  • Birth defect

When the cornea becomes impaired, patients may notice changes to their vision – like blurriness and glaring – as well as a feeling of something being stuck in their eye. If you are experiencing the symptoms of corneal damage, contact our team today to determine if you may need a corneal transplant.

What is a corneal transplant?

A corneal transplant is an advanced eye surgery that helps to restore a person’s vision by removing a damaged or compromised cornea and replacing it with healthy corneal tissue. Depending on the nature and extent of the damage, corneal transplant surgery can be used to replace either part or all of the cornea.

Where does the new cornea come from in a corneal transplant?

Healthy corneal tissue used for cornea replacement is harvested from human organ donors. Prior to corneal transplant surgery, the donor cornea is closely examined to ensure it is an appropriate match for the patient.

Does corneal transplant surgery hurt?

In most cases, a corneal transplant is performed using local anesthesia to keep the patient as comfortable as possible throughout the procedure. Following the surgery, patients can expect some level of discomfort, including the feeling of having debris or a foreign body in their eye, but these symptoms typically improve after about a week. During corneal transplant recovery, patients will be given eye drops and other tools and instructions for alleviating any discomfort they may experience and ensuring the speediest and most successful healing process possible.

When will I be able to see again after corneal transplant?

Because every situation is unique, it is impossible to say with certainty how soon clear vision may return following corneal transplant surgery. While most people are able to resume work and other activities (with the exception of strenuous exercise) about 1 – 2 weeks after surgery, it can take up to a year for reliably clear vision to return. Some patients report their vision goes from better to worse – and back to better – throughout the course of their recovery, so try not to be alarmed should you notice these fluctuations. Once healed and recovered from corneal transplant surgery, patients say clear vision was well worth the wait.

Clear up your vision with corneal transplant surgery in Napa Valley, CA

If you have blurry or glared vision that you suspect may be associated with corneal impairment, call Precision Surgery Center of Napa Valley to schedule your one-on-one consultation for corneal transplant surgery, and take the first step toward restoring clear vision today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.