A cornea transplant, also called keratoplasty, can bring back vision, lessen pain, and improve the appearance of your cornea if it is white and scarred.
Before cornea transplant surgery, you will undergo:
A thorough eye exam to look for conditions that might cause complications after surgery.
That doctor will take a measurement of your eye to determine the size of cornea you need from the donor.
Your medications and supplements will also be reviewed. Before or after your cornea transplant, you may have to stop taking certain medications and supplements.
You will have your other eye problems treated first, as unrelated eye problems, such as infection or inflammation, can reduce your chances of receiving a corneal transplant.
Once your cornea transplant is completed, you can expect to:
You will receive medications such as eye drops and, sometimes, oral medications immediately after your cornea transplant surgery and during recovery. These will help control infection, swelling and pain. Eyedrops to suppress the immune system help prevent cornea rejections.
You will need to wear eye protection or glasses to protect your eye as it heals.
Depending on the type of transplant, you might have to lie on your back for a while after surgery to help the new tissue stay in place.
After your cornea transplant, ease into normal activities, including exercise. Don’t rub or press on your eye. You’ll need to take extra precautions to keep your eye healthy for the rest of your life.
See your eye doctor regularly in the year after surgery to monitor your progress and look for complications.
The recovery time will depend on the reason for your surgery and your health.