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4700 Falls of Neuse Rd, Suite 180
Raleigh, NC 27609

Phone: 919-862-9090
Fax: 919-862-9011

Corneal Transplant

What is a Corneal Transplant?

The cornea is the clear outer lens on the front of the eye. A corneal transplant is surgery to replace the cornea with tissue from a donor. It is one of the most common transplants done.

When is a Corneal Transplant Needed?

A corneal transplant is recommended for people who have:

  • Vision problems caused by thinning of the cornea, most often due to keratoconus. A transplant may be considered when less invasive treatments are not an option.
  • Scarring of the cornea from severe infections or injuries.
  • Vision loss caused by cloudiness of the cornea, most often due to Fuchs dystrophy.

Types of Corneal Transplants

For years, the most common type of corneal transplant was called penetrating keratoplasty.

  • It is still a frequently performed operation.
  • During this procedure, your surgeon will remove a small round piece of your cornea.
  • The donated tissue will then be sewn into the opening of your cornea.

A newer technique is called lamellar keratoplasty.

  • In this procedure, only the inner or outer layers of the cornea are replaced, rather than all the layers, as in penetrating keratoplasty.
  • There are several different lamellar techniques. They differ mostly on which layer is replaced and how the donor tissue is prepared.
  • All lamellar procedures lead to faster recovery and fewer complications.