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Corneal Transplants

Corneal Transplants in Brisbane, Booval, Wynnum, & Aspley

Corneal transplants are one of the oldest and most commonly performed transplant procedures in Australia. They are recommended in cases where the cornea, or the clear outer surface of the eye, becomes severely compromised by disease or damage. During a corneal transplant, the unhealthy or diseased tissue is removed and replaced with healthy tissue taken from a donor.

The decision to have a corneal transplant requires careful consideration and the guidance of an experienced eye doctor, like those at The Eye Health Centre. If you or a loved one has been told you could benefit from a corneal transplant, you can rely on our expertise as we consider all necessary factors and help you make the choice that is right for your circumstances.

When Is Corneal Transplant Needed?

Corneal Transplants in Brisbane, Booval, Wynnum, & AspleyConditions that may require corneal transplant include the following:

  • Advanced keratoconus
  • Corneal trauma, infection or injury
  • Ocular surface scarring
  • Lattice, granular, macular or Fuchs’ dystrophy

Corneal transplant is typically recommended when all other treatment options have been exhausted.

Corneal Transplant Procedure Details

Corneal Grafting in Brisbane, Booval, Wynnum, & AspleyThere are several approaches to corneal transplant surgery. The approach or technique that is right for you will depend on what our surgeons find during a comprehensive eye exam and imaging of your cornea.

The cornea is made up of three layers of tissue. Some corneal conditions affect only the inner or outer layer of the cornea, whereas other conditions affect the full thickness of the cornea.

Full Thickness Keratoplasty

Full thickness keratoplasty replaces the entire thickness of the cornea. The unhealthy corneal tissue is removed and the donor tissue graft sutured into place with two continuous running sutures. The sutures need to remain in place for a period of time after surgery. The first suture is removed approximately three months after surgery, and the second suture is removed about a year after surgery.

Partial Thickness Keratoplasty (DMEK)

Partial thickness keratoplasty replaces one or two unhealthy or diseased layers of the cornea. Preserving some of the original healthy tissue reduces rejection rates, expedites healing time and improves visual outcomes. Because less tissue is replaced during the transplant, the eye is stronger and structurally sturdier than if the entire thickness of the cornea had been replaced.

The preferred partial thickness keratoplasty technique is Descemet’s Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty, or DMEK. This procedure is recommended when the unhealthy or diseased corneal tissue is limited to the innermost layer of the cornea, called the endothelium. The affected tissue is removed and the donor tissue held in place with an air bubble. This approach is extremely technical and advanced, but it offers the best chance at good vision with the least risk of donor tissue rejection.

Corneal Transplant Results

The goal of corneal transplant surgery is a healthy, functioning cornea — not perfect 20/20 vision. You will likely need some form of vision correction, whether it is glasses or contact lenses, after surgery. Once your cornea has healed and stabilized, our doctors can discuss making the necessary adjustments to improve your vision.

Learn More About Corneal Transplant

If you would like to learn more about corneal transplant surgery, The Eye Health Clinic invites you to schedule a one-on-one consultation with our team. Call or email us today to request an appointment at one of our four locations.