Easing Your Fears: Everything You Need to Know About Cornea Transplants
Did you know that every year in the United States there are over 40,000 cornea transplant surgeries performed? At Cornea & Cataract Consultants of Arizona, our surgeons treat every cornea transplant with attention and care.
We understand how overwhelming and frightening the thought of eye surgery can be. Here is some information about the procedure to help ease your fears.
When is a Cornea Transplant Needed?
An optometrist would suggest a transplant for a patient who has vision problems that prescription eyeglasses cannot fix. It is also an option when the eyes swell painfully and medication has no impact.
What Exactly is Your Cornea?
Your cornea is a thin clear tissue covering the front of each of your eyes. All of the lights and images you see pass through the cornea. Your cornea needs to stay clear in order to see well.
There are a number of issues which can damage your cornea. Each of these issues make your cornea cloudy which impacts your vision in a negative way:
- Fuchs’ dystrophy – a progressive eye disease
- Lattice dystrophy – a rare corneal disease
- Keratoconus – a progressive eye disease
What are the Risks Associated with the Surgery?
While a cornea transplant is considered a safe procedure, there are a few risks and side effects to be aware of. These include:
- Eye infection
- Dry eyes
- Transplant rejection
How Do You Know the Cornea was Rejected?
As noted above, cornea transplants are typically safe and successful. However, in about 20% of cases, a patient’s body might reject the transplant, requiring medical treatment and another transplant. If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor right away:
- Vision loss
- Irritation in the form of pain, redness, and swelling
- Light sensitivity
Recovering from the Transplant
The reason a patient needs a cornea transplant largely impacts the success rate of the surgery. Statistics and research shows that a donated cornea can last for a decade. The success rate for individuals with specific eye diseases includes:
- 89% success rate for keratoconus
- 73% for Fuchs’ dystrophy
- 60% for Lattice dystrophy
If you think you would benefit from a cornea transplant surgery, please call us to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists today.