Corneal Transplant

Posted Thursday, April 13, 2017

Did You Know? Transplant patients range from 9 days to 103 years old

The Cornea Receives its Required Oxygen from the Air Not the Bloodstream   

The Cornea is responsible for 65-75% of the Eye’s Total Focusing Power

The cornea is the clear outer lens on the front of the eye, and a cornea transplant is a surgery to replace the cornea with tissue from a donor. The eye is extremely delicate and it is important consider options and risks before electing surgery.  

Please use this guide as a resource for knowledge and understanding of corneal transplant causes, preparation, risks and recovery. 

01│Cause for Transplant

A cornea transplant is most often used to restore vision to a person who has a damaged cornea. A cornea transplant may also relieve pain or other signs and symptoms associated with diseases of the cornea. A number of conditions can be treated with a cornea transplant, including:

  • A cornea that bulges outward (keratoconus)
  • Fuchs' dystrophy
  • Thinning of the cornea
  • Cornea scarring, caused by infection or injury
  • Clouding of the cornea
  • Swelling of the cornea
  • Corneal ulcers, including those caused by infection
  • Complications caused by previous eye surgery


Before cornea transplant surgery, patients will undergo the following:

  • A thorough eye exam
  • Eye Measurements
  • Evaluation of all medications and supplements
  • Treatment for other eye problems


Cornea transplant is a relatively safe procedure. However, a cornea transplant does carry a small risk of serious complications, such as:  

  • Eye infection
  • Increased risk of clouding of the eye's lens (cataracts)
  • Pressure increase within the eyeball (glaucoma)
  • Problems with the stitches used to secure the donor cornea
  • Rejection of the donor cornea
  • Swelling of the cornea


Recovery can take up to a year and possibly longer depending on the health and heal time of the eye. Vision may seem blurry and possibly worse than prior to surgery as the eye heals. Levels of activity and the ability to return to work will vary greatly depending on recovery. Steroid eye drops will be prescribed for several months as the body accepts the new cornea. Medications to control swelling and discomfort will be available as well. It is important to wear protective lenses to avoid foreign objects or injury to the eye. It is important to follow the directions of the health care provider, to minimize complications after surgery.  

For more information on corneal transplant and other ophthalmologic conditions, please visit:   

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