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FAQs on Corneal Transplant Surgery

Corneal Transplant

Corneal Transplant in Chennai

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Corneal Transplant?
Corneal Transplant is also known as Keratoplasty or Corneal graft. It is a surgical procedure that involves the replacement of damaged cornea with the healthy donor's cornea. The cornea is a dome-shaped transparent surface of the eye. This is the largest focusing part of the eye which focuses on the light rays. There are different types of Corneal Transplant:

  1. Penetrating Keratoplasty
  2. Endothelial Keratoplasty
  3. Anterior lamellar keratoplasty
  4. Keratoprosthesis

What are the advantages of a Corneal Transplant?

The following are the advantages of Corneal Transplant:

  1. The quality of your life increases due to the better vision.
  2. There is no need to wear contact lenses and thus the infections acquired due to contact lenses can be avoided.
  3. It helps in treating the pain.
  4. This is also performed to treat severe infection or damage.

What are the indications of Corneal Transplant?

The following are the indications of Corneal Transplant:

  1. Fuch's dystrophy
  2. Keratoconus (cornea that bulges outwards)
  3. Clouding of the cornea
  4. Swollen cornea
  5. Scarring of the cornea
  6. Ulcers in the cornea
  7. Injury to the cornea
  8. Infection in the cornea
  9. Complications due to previous surgery

What is the preparation for Corneal Transplant?

Following steps are required for an individual for preparation of Corneal Transplant:

  1. Discuss with the Surgeon regarding all the benefits, risks, and complications associated with Corneal Transplant.
  2. If you are using any soft contact lenses then they must be removed at least a week prior to the surgery.
  3. Avoid having food for at least 6 hours before the surgery. This way the risk of inhaling stomach contents into the lungs will be reduced.
  4. Also, avoid applying any creams or makeup on the day of surgery. 
  5. Take the medications as instructed by the doctor.
  6. Don't read, write, or use a mobile phone or computer for about 30 minutes prior to the test.

What are the steps involved in Corneal Transplant?

The following are the steps involved in the Corneal Transplant:

  1. The patient will be given a sedative to relax and a local anesthetic to numb the area so that the patient will not feel the pain.
  2. Incisions are made through the cornea to remove the damaged or abnormal cornea and replace it with the donor's cornea. The donor's cornea will be cut to adjust the size of the patient's cornea.
  3. A fine thread is used to stitch the cornea in its position. 
  4. In some cases, the donor's cornea may be rejected by the patient and the surgeon may artificial cornea.

What is the postprocedure care/recovery care for Corneal Transplant?

The following are the post-care steps to be followed after Corneal Transplant:

  1. Do not let soap come into contact with the eyes or at the site of surgery.
  2. Place ice packs on the operated area to reduce bruising or swelling.
  3. While sleeping, keep your head higher than your chest on the pillow.
  4. Do not use lotions, creams, make-up, etc around the operated area.
  5. Avoid going for a swim after the surgery at least for a week.
  6. Do not lift weights or play sports like tennis and racquetball for next one week after the surgery.
  7. Avoid going to crowded places and dusty areas to reduce complications after the surgery.
  8. Use sunglasses if you go out. This may protect you from direct sunlight and sensitivity to light.
  9. The patient may be asked not to consume alcohol for at least 1-week post-surgery. 
  10. Follow all the instructions given by the doctor.
  11. There should be follow-up visits to the doctor after this surgery after a week to monitor the condition or to remove any sutures if present.
  12. If there is intolerable pain that cannot be managed with pain killers or infection at the site of the surgery or if the incision is not healing or separating, bleeding at the site of incision, vision getting worse, consult the doctor immediately.

Who can perform Corneal Transplant [Right specialist type for Corneal Transplant]?
Corneal Transplant can be performed by a certified and skilled Ophthalmologist or an Ophthalmology Surgeon who is specialized and experienced in Corneal Transplantation.

What is the cost of a Corneal Transplant?
Cost of Corneal Transplant depends on factors such as:

  1. Doctor fee
  2. Admission fee
  3. Age of the patient
  4. Type of hospital
  5. Type of donor
  6. The medical condition of the patient
  7. Post-surgical complications that are involved
  8. The admission room that you opted for
  9. Any other lab tests or examination tests such as X-ray, ECG, etc.

Minimum amount to be paid in Chennai starts from Rs.42,750

Average charges in Chennai is approximately Rs.66,500

Maximum cost in Chennai rises up to Rs. 1,14,000

Is Corneal Transplant a major surgery or minor surgery?

Corneal Transplant surgery is considered a minor surgery due to the low risks involved in it.

What is the eligibility criteria for Corneal Transplant?

The following are the eligibility criteria for Corneal Transplant:

  1. Patients with depriving vision, blurred vision, eye pain, cloudy vision, etc.
  2. Patients with severe symptoms of keratoconus.

What is the ineligibility criteria for Corneal Transplant?

The following are the ineligibility criteria for Corneal Transplant:

  1. Active infection
  2. Cancer
  3. Immune disorders
  4. Cardiovascular disorders

What are the risks and complications associated with Corneal Transplant?

The following are the risks involved in the Corneal Transplant:

  1. Infections post-transplant
  2. Cataract (increase in clouding in the lens)
  3. Glaucoma (increased pressure in the eyeball)
  4. Rejection of the donor cornea
  5. Swelling 
  6. Problems associated with stitches
  7. Sensitivity to light
  8. Pain

How long does it take to complete Corneal Transplant?

A corneal transplant may take approximately 1-2 hours for the complete procedure.

What is the recovery time?

The recovery time for the corneal transplant maybe about 6-12 weeks.

What is the success rate of Corneal Transplant?
The success rate of Corneal Transplant depends on various factors like the age of the patient, the medical condition of the patient, and immune system, etc. However, the Corneal transplant has a very high success rate of about 90%.

Is Corneal Transplant painful?

Every surgery comes with a certain level of pain and some discomfort. You won't be experiencing pain during this process because you will be under general anesthesia. There may be some discomfort after the procedure.

Is Corneal Transplant Permanent?

The Corneal Transplant is permanent as the damaged cornea of the patient is removed and replaced with the donor's healthy cornea.

What are the long-term results of a Corneal Transplant?

The following are the long-term results of a Corneal Transplant:

  1. Significant improvement in vision
  2. The graft cornea may sometimes get detached after many years. The life-span of the corneal graft is usually ten years.

What are the options if Corneal Transplant fails?

The chances of Corneal Transplant failure are very low but in case of failure ASLA (Advanced surface laser ablation) also known as Photorefractive keratectomy can be performed.

What are the alternatives for Corneal Transplant?

The following are the alternatives of Corneal Transplant:

  1. Medications
  2. Hard contact lens
  3. Bowman layer transplantation
  4. Excimer laser phototherapeutic keratectomy
  5. Optical iridectomy
  6. Rotational auto keratoplasty 
  7. Contralateral auto keratoplasty
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