Your cornea consists of the clear layer of tissue covering the front of your eye. It refracts, or bends, light rays as they enter the eye so they focus on the retina. If your cornea has become clouded or damaged as a result of disease, swelling, infection or injury, it may need specialized treatment, sometimes involving a Corneal Transplant.
A Corneal Transplant (or Keratoplasty) is often used to restore functional vision. For a corneal transplant procedure, the corneal transplant surgeon carefully removes the central corneal tissue and replaces it with a precisely shaped replica of donor tissue. This procedure is successful approximately 85% of the time, depending on other factors, such as glaucoma, retinal damage, or optic nerve damage.
A corneal transplant is an outpatient procedure and typically takes about an hour. A local anesthesia is used to ensure the patient does not feel any pain. After the procedure, the patient must wear a plastic shield or glasses at all times to avoid any contact to the eye until the transplant tissue permanently takes. Special eye drops help with this process.
Time for recovery can vary greatly between patients, with some requiring up to a year.
A pterygium is a triangular-shaped growth of the conjunctiva. It can cause irritation, redness and tearing. It is caused when tiny capillaries that supply blood to eye tissue start cultivating pterygium growth. In some cases, the pterygium can grow over the central cornea and affect vision, even changing the shape of the cornea and causing astigmatism. In such cases, surgery may be required to remove the pterygium.
Pterygiums are often caused by exposure to the sun. When detected early, they may be treated with eye protection, artificial tears, or medicated drops. If you have been diagnosed with a disease involving the cornea, you will likely be referred to a Corneal Specialists. Contact Magruder Eye Institute today to schedule an appointment with one of our Corneal Specialists.