Your cornea is essential for vision. If a deformity in your cornea, scarring in your cornea or disease has affected your cornea’s ability to let light get into your eyes, you may need cornea surgery. During the procedure, our doctor is going to take out a piece of your cornea and then replace it with a piece of cornea from a donor. Although you may have never heard of this procedure before, it is quite common. It is estimated that every year, 40,000 people have this procedure done.
What Purpose Does Your Cornea Serve?
Your cornea is invisible. It is a clear tissue that covers your eye. Since it is transparent, light can go straight through it and then enter your pupil. Your pupil is that dark spot that you see in the center of your eye. When the light enters your pupil, it can then travel to the lens.
The only way that you can see properly is if your cornea is clear and has a normal shape. Any abnormality in the clarity or shape of your cornea will be reflected in your vision. Reasons for cornea abnormalities include trauma, infection, scars, genetic diseases or degenerative diseases.
The Different Types of Cornea Surgery Methods
One option is a full thickness cornea transplant. During this procedure, our doctor will transplant all of the layers from your donor’s cornea to your eye.
During an EK cornea transplant, our doctor will transplant the deepest layers of the donor’s cornea into your eyes. Our doctor is going to determine what parts of the donor’s cornea to transplant, depending on the problem that you have with your cornea. Understandably, the less invasive the procedure is, the faster your recovery time is.
The success rate of a cornea transplant will differ depending on the root cause of your problem. For example, if a person has cornea scarring, they have between a 60 to 70 percent chance of the transplanted cornea lasting for at least 10 years. Conversely, if they have keratoconus, the chances of the cornea implant lasting for 10 years jumps up to 89 percent.
One of the nice things about a cornea transplant is that it is very likely that your body will not reject it. There’s only been a few cases where this has happened. This is because your cornea is immunologically privileged. This means that it is a part of your body that your immune system is less likely to reject.
Can Cornea Surgery Help You?
If you have an issue with your cornea, set up a consultation at Live Oak Ophthalmology in Wilmington to learn more about cornea surgery. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment with our team!