Corneal Transplant Care
Corneal Transplant Details
Alternate Names for Corneal Transplant:
Your ophthalmologist may do the following:
- Physical exam
- Blood tests
Before the procedure:
Talk to your doctor about your medicines. Also, discuss any herbs or vitamins you take. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, like:
- Aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs
- Blood thinners, such as clopidogrel (Plavix) or warfarin (Coumadin)
- Arrange to have someone drive you home.
- Arrange for help at home after the procedure.
- Use any eye drops as instructed by your ophthalmologist.
- The day before, do not eat or drink anything after midnight (unless told otherwise by your doctor).
Two types of anesthesia can be used during a corneal transplant:
- Local anesthesia (most commonly used) to numb the eye-You will stay awake.
- General anesthesia -You will be asleep.
The procedure will be done under a surgical microscope. The damaged part of the cornea will be cut out. The new cornea will then be placed in the opening. The new cornea will be fastened with very fine stitches. Finally, a patch and shield will be put over the eye.
There is a newer technique, called Descemet's stripping endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK). DSEK is used for some types of cornea transplants. It may result in shorter recovery time and better vision. With this technique, the doctor removes a much smaller part of the cornea, compared with older procedures. DSEK is not widely available yet in the US, but it is becoming more popular.How Long Will It Take?
1-2 hoursHow Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia prevents pain during surgery. You may have slight soreness for a few days after the procedure. Ask your doctor about medicine to help with the pain.Average Hospital Stay
You will most likely go home after a few hours in the recovery area.Post-procedure Care At Home
After you leave the hospital, you should rest for the remainder of the day. When you return home after the procedure, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
- Continue to wear the eye patch until your doctor instructs you to remove it.
- Use eye drops as prescribed.
- Wear glasses during the day, and wear a shield to protect your eye at night.
- Protect your eye from accidental bumps or pokes.
- Do not rub or press on your eye.
- Do not swim until allowed by your doctor.
- Avoid contact sports.
- Do not drive until your doctor gives you permission.
- Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions .
Your eye will be checked several times during the following weeks and months. Stitches are usually left in place for at least several months.
Learn what the procedure is. Find out how it is performed.
Find out why and when this procedure should be done.
Learn about possible complications and what might increase the risk of them.
What to Expect
Find out how long it will take, what they will be doing and what to expect afterwards.
What are the next steps and other possible tests needed after you have received the results.
Call Your Doctor
What to look out for and when to call your doctor after a procedure has been done.