What is the Cornea of the Eye?

The cornea is the clear tissue at the front of the eye in front of the iris. It focuses light entering the eye onto the retina. Many factors help keep this tissue clear and healthy. Eye disease, injury, infection and inflammation can cause the cornea to become cloudy or scarred. At Memphis Eye and Cataract Associates, our skilled ophthalmologists are able to explain and determine which form of corneal transplant surgery is best for you.

What is Keratoplasty surgery?

Keratoplasty surgery, otherwise known as corneal transplant surgery, is the partial or full replacement of the cornea. This procedure has evolved over the years to be a safe and reliable treatment for corneal opacities. Corneal tissue is obtained from a donor cornea and is precisely cut to replace the patient’s damaged cornea.

Types of Corneal Transplant Surgery

There are several variations of corneal transplantation:

  • A full thickness corneal transplant, the cornea is completely removed and replaced with a donor cornea
  • Other corneal problems may only need a portion of the cornea replaced
  • Patients with corneal dystrophy or Fuch’s dystrophy may benefit from DSAEK or DSEK – descemet stripping endothelial keratoplasty. The back layer of the cornea, descemet membrane, is peeled and the same layer is obtained from the donor cornea for replacement.
  • Severe corneal scarring may not support a transplant and a keratoprosthesis may be needed. This precise plastic device is sewn into the scarred cornea and has a lens built in to focus the light rays.

Close follow-up with your physician as well as compliance with post-operative drops and medications is important for successful surgery.

Without the generosity of the many donors, this sight-saving surgery could not be performed.

Contact Us

To learn more about your corneal transplant options or if you require keratoplasty, please contact our Memphis, TN office today to schedule a consultation.