A full thickness cornea transplant, also called a keratoplasty, is an incredible surgical procedure used to replace a diseased or damaged cornea with one from a donor. This procedure is well-tolerated by most otherwise healthy individuals. The primary benefits are better visual acuity and a cessation of pain from the cornea, but other benefits such as higher self-esteem, greater autonomy and better aesthetics are also common. If you or a loved one has been advised you’re a candidate for a full thickness cornea transplant, there are several situations where it’s the best possible solution.
Heavily Scarred Corneas
A cornea can be scarred by trauma, such as a car accident or being splashed in the face with a caustic liquid, or it can be scarred by disease. Even improper contact lens wear can cause scarring to the cornea. Very rarely, scars caused by procedures meant to enhance visual acuity, such as LASIK, can scar the cornea. If the cornea is very scarred, replacing it with a donor cornea via a full thickness cornea transplant is often the best possible choice for reacquiring crisp, clear vision.
Some eye diseases will cause a clouding of the cornea. As the cornea is responsible for admitting light into the eye, this clouding can cause large deficits in visual acuity. It can get so bad that the individual’s quality of life is being impacted. The clouding can also be visible to others, which can lead to uncomfortable conversations or embarrassing questions by well-meaning but misguided people. Within a few weeks after a full thickness cornea transplant, there will be little evidence of surgery and vision will already be improving.
While some eye diseases only impact visual acuity, others cause painful, irritated corneas as well. Replacing the damaged cornea not only increases visual acuity, but can also stop the incessant eye pain. This is a deeply personal decision, as only the individual can decide if the pain of the eye warrants surgery.
Learn More During a Consultation
Deciding to undergo a full thickness cornea transplant is a big decision. The team at Live Oak Ophthalmology would be happy to review your case and provide you with an honest professional opinion from which to form your final decision. From there, we will work with you to come up with a treatment plan that is best for you. Our office is located in Wilmington. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn more about a full thickness cornea transplant.