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Paul J. Dubord MD, FRCSC, Inc.
Suite 1603 - 805 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K1
Tel: (604) 875-8889

Corneal Surgery & Transplantation

The clear covering of the eyeball is called the cornea. Surgery is performed on the cornea for two main reasons. One is to remove scarring and clouding that interfere with vision. The other is to change the curve of the cornea to correct vision problems. Operations on the cornea can be performed with traditional surgical tools or laser surgery can be used.

Who is a candidate for the Corneal Surgery?

The best candidates for this type of surgery are people with corneal conditions, whose visual handicap cannot be corrected by wearing glasses or contact lenses.

How is Corneal Surgery performed?

Several procedures can be performed on the cornea to restore its clarity and allow more light to pass through. Common procedures include the following:

  • corneal transplant, in which a person's cloudy , diseased cornea is replaced with a cornea from a donor eye. This can involve a full thickness graft or the replacement of a specific layer of cornea.
  • removal of a membrane-like growth on the surface of the cornea called a pterygium.
  • repair of corneal injuries.
  • a scraping of the surface layers of the cornea that have become rough or cloudy to allow normal tissue to grow in its place.

Corneal Transplantation

With corneal transplantation, a part of a person's cornea is removed. It is then replaced with a portion of a cornea from a donor eye. In some cases, only the deepest layer of the cornea needs to be removed. This is referred to as lamellar keratoplasty. In some cases, however, the entire thickness of the cornea must be replaced. This is called penetrating keratoplasty.

Who is a candidate for the Corneal Transplantation?

Conditions that make corneal transplant necessary include:

  • irregularities on the surface of the cornea
  • severe corneal ulcers or infection
  • corneal injury, damage, or scarring
  • dense clouding of the corneal tissue that reduces vision
This procedure should be done only if a person's vision cannot be corrected with medical treatment or contact lenses.

How is the Corneal Transplantation performed?

Corneal transplant tissue comes from people who have died, and donated their organs or tissue. This tissue is kept in an "eye bank" In lamellar keratoplasty, the diseased or opaque surface of the person's cornea is removed. It is replaced with piece of clear cornea in a similar shape and thickness. The partial thickness of cornea is then sewn onto the person's own cornea. In a penetrating keratoplasty, an instrument called a trephine is used to remove a button of scarred cornea from the person's eye. A similar sized graft from a donor eye is sewn in its place. Most corneal transplants are done under local anesthesia in a same day surgery setting.

The above information has been extracted from Healthopedia. For more information visit www.Healthopedia.com/Corneal-surgery/.

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