About Cornea Transplants
If the full thickness of the cornea is unhealthy or affected by an eye disease or disorder, a full thickness corneal transplant called a keratoplasty (PTK) may be necessary to improve your vision. To complete the PTK procedure, one of our skilled ophthalmologist surgeons will remove a circle of corneal tissue and replace it with donor tissue. The new tissue will be stitched into place so that it remains in place during healing.
Our team at Eye Health Vision Centers is skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of many cornea diseases and disorders and can effectively perform full-thickness corneal transplants using two proven methods, Descemet's Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK) and Descemet's Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK). If you have a corneal disease or disorder and would like to learn more about your treatment options, contact one of our greater South Coast-area facilities today to schedule a consultation. We can perform a comprehensive corneal evaluation and determine if you are a candidate for a cornea transplant at our locations in Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Fall River, and Taunton, MA and Middletown, RI.
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"I was referred to Dr. Westerfeld by my local Eye Dr who diagnosed me with a detached retina during my annual eye exam in July 2019. Dr. Westerfeld scheduled me the next day for surgery. I highly recommend Dr. Westerfeld, he immediately put all of my fears at ease and helped me overcome my anxiety over the reattachment surgery. He explained the procedure and importance of following all post op directions which allowed me to make a full and successful recovery."- P.L. / Google / Jan 26, 2021
The only way to be absolutely sure that you should undergo a corneal transplant is by scheduling an appointment with a member of our highly experienced ophthalmology team. But generally speaking, patients who are ideal candidates for a full-thickness corneal transplant may have:
- Chronic fluid buildup in the cornea
- Fuchs' dystrophy
- Keratoconus (advanced stages)
- Penetrating keratoplasty
- Corneal scarring
- Clouded or obstructed vision
Corneal transplants are most commonly performed using local anesthesia, but in some situations, general anesthesia or a combination of local anesthesia and oral-conscious sedation will be used for optimal comfort. Before beginning your procedure, a special speculum will be placed over the affected eye to hold the eyelid open. Your surgeon will begin by surgically removing the cornea. Some surgeries also involve the removal of the endothelium. All diseased tissue is removed and replaced with donor tissue that matches the cornea. Sutures are used to connect the tissue and hold it in place as it heals. Both DSEK and DSAEK are performed very similarly and typically take less than 30 minutes to perform. The difference between the two procedures is that DSEK is performed manually by a surgeon and for DSAEK, the surgeon is assisted by an automated microkeratome procedure, which helps to prepare the donor tissue.
An eye patch will be placed over the treated eye immediately following the procedure, and you will be given detailed aftercare instructions. Recovery following corneal transplants can vary, according to the technique used and the severity of your condition prior to treatment. If both eyes require treatment, you may need to wait up to a year before scheduling your next surgery. Individuals typically attain clearer vision at around three months post-procedure. It is extremely important that you closely following post-surgical instructions and attend each follow-up appointment that is scheduled for you.
Discover Your Options
At Eye Health Vision Centers, we proudly utilize the world’s most advanced technology and the experience of renowned surgeons to provide you with exciting treatment options that truly work. We take great pride in restoring or protecting the vision of those affected by eye conditions. To set up an appointment with a member of our team and learn more about your treatment options, contact one of our greater South Coast-area facilities at your earliest convenience. We look forward to meeting with you.