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Home » Ophthalmology » Cornea Surgery » Cornea Transplants

Cornea Transplants in Houston, TX

Eye Excellence provides cornea transplants for the residents of Houston, Missouri City and the surrounding areas of Texas.

What is a Cornea Transplant?

Corneal transplantation is an option for people who have scarred corneas due to infection or injury, corneal clouding (Fuchs’ dystrophy) or corneal thinning caused by keratoconus. People who would have been permanently blinded in the past may now have their vision restored with corneal transplants. With about 40,000 performed each year, corneal transplants have become quite common in the United States. With the help of technological advances, the chances of success have increased dramatically.

What is the Cornea?

The cornea is essentially the “window of the eye”. The cornea is transparent and curved and is the first place in the eye where light begins to bend. This bending of light, or refraction, is necessary to allow light to focus on the retina. Unfortunately, this refraction also causes distortion and loss of resolution – these are called refractive errors. Certain corneal diseases, such as keratoconus, change the shape of the cornea drastically, making light bend in a way that distorts the image greatly before it reaches the retina. A corneal transplant removes the diseased cornea, replacing it with a donor cornea that provides vision that gradually improves over time.

What does a Corneal Transplant Involve?

A corneal transplant is an outpatient procedure performed under local or general anesthesia. After anesthesia is administered, an instrument called a lid speculum is used to keep your eyelid open. Using a special microscope, Dr. Green measures your affected cornea to determine how much tissue to remove and how much donor tissue will be needed. After precisely measuring, Dr. Green will cut and remove a circular piece of your scarred cornea using a microtrephine. The same procedure will be done to the donor cornea. The donor tissue is then placed on your eye and sutured into place. Most patients do not even feel the sutures, as they are very fine and smaller in diameter than a human hair. The entire procedure usually takes between one to two hours.

Cornea Transplant Recovery

Recovery after a cornea transplant is a gradual process because of the cornea’s lack of blood supply. You will be able to see but  your vision will continue to be blurred and distorted as the donor tissue is slowly smooths. Your sutures will not be removed for several months to ensure proper healing. However, most patients don’t even feel the sutures in their eye. Eye drops and ointment may be prescribed to prevent any irritation or graft rejection. You should avoid any activities that could result in a direct blow to the eye. Over time, your vision will begin to clear up and you will be fitted with glasses or contact lenses to further improve your vision.

If you are in need of a corneal transplant and reside in Houston, Missouri City or the surrounding areas of Texas, contact us today to learn more.