The cornea is the clear part in the front of the eye. It allows light to pass through to the retina unobstructed. The curvature of the cornea bends the light rays and focuses them on the retina, producing clear images in normal vision.
Disease or trauma to the cornea can alter its structure and cause vision loss. Changes in corneal shape, thickness, or clarity cause poor vision that can often be corrected with a corneal transplant.
During Corneal Transplant Surgery, a circle of tissue about 8mm in diameter is removed from the patient’s cornea. It is replaced with corneal tissue from a human donor. The donor tissue is carefully screened to prevent transmission of disease to the recipient. The new donor cornea is stitched into position using very thin nylon thread. The sutures are barely visible and do not cause pain, although it is normal for the eye to feel scratchy or irritated for the first few days after surgery.
For the first few weeks after the surgery, the vision is usually blurry. After several weeks, the vision begins to clear. Within 3 or 4 months, new glasses can be prescribed, which often sharpen the vision even more.