Cornea Service

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Corneal Transplant

Treating corneal blindness is possible through cornea transplant. In this treatment, a healthy cornea is transplanted in place of a diseased cornea called as penetrating keratoplasty. Sometimes part of the cornea is transplanted called as lamellar keratoplasty.

Of all tissue transplants, corneal transplants are the most successful. A cornea transplant is done in the following circumstances:

Most corneal transplants are ‘full thickness’ corneal transplants. The diseased cornea is removed with all its layers and replaced by a similar or slightly larger sized, donor cornea also of ‘full’ thickness.  This procedure is called Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK)

Newer techniques of corneal transplant are endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK / DMEK). In this only the endothelial layer of the cornea is replaced, allowing surgeon to target the specific cause of the patient’s vision loss. No sutures are placed and hence recovery is faster.


A fleshy overgrowth of tissue may occur over the cornea and this may lead to astigmatism or obstruct the vision. This can be successfully removed by surgery and recurrence prevented by an autograft. This is better operated upon early to avoid permanent damage to the vision.


Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease in which the normally round cornea thins and begins to bulge into a cone-like shape. This cone shape deflects light as it enters the eye on its way to the light-sensitive retina, causing distorted vision.

As the cornea becomes more irregular in shape, it causes progressive nearsightedness and irregular astigmatism, creating additional problems with distorted and blurred vision. Glare and light sensitivity also may occur.In the mildest form of keratoconus, eyeglasses or soft contact lenses may help. But as the disease progresses and the cornea thins and becomes increasingly irregular in shape, glasses and regular soft contact lens designs no longer provide adequate vision correction.

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