The cornea is a small area at the front of your eye that helps you to focus light. When this portion of the eye thins or experiences damage, you cannot see clearly. When this happens, in many cases, aside from a cornea transplant, there is no way to restore your vision. You need a qualified ophthalmologist, such as John DeCarlo MD, to conduct the surgery. Dr. DeCarlo operates out of DeCarlo Eye Center, serving Elm Grove, Brookfield, Milwaukee, and Wauwatosa.
What Happens During a Cornea Transplant?
The transplant of a cornea is a procedure called keratoplasty. During this procedure, an ophthalmologist removes your damaged cornea and replaces it with a donor cornea.
You will have eye drops and anesthesia to keep yourself from feeling anything during the procedure. If you have local anesthesia, you may remain awake for the procedure. Some people get general anesthesia that makes them sleep through the surgery.
The eye doctor will remove the damaged portion of your cornea and place the donor tissue into the spot. Stitches hold the donor tissue in place as it heals. You will have a shield over your eye following the surgery to protect it from damage.
As with most surgeries, you will have aftercare instructions to follow from the ophthalmologist. Some people need to stay horizontal after the procedure to keep the transplant from moving. Additionally, you should schedule and keep any follow-up appointments to ensure that your eye is healing properly.
Conditions That Necessitate Cornea Transplants
Not everyone will need a transplant for a cornea. However, some corneal disorders cause such damage to this portion of the eye that a transplant becomes the only option. Conditions that may require a cornea transplant include the following:
- Severe cases of keratoconus
- Corneal thinning
- Fuchs' dystrophy
- Thinning, swelling, or scarring of the cornea
- Corneal ulcers
- Damage from previous eye surgeries
Types of Transplants
The transplant surgery uses a donor cornea to replace the damaged one in your eye. The type of transplant needed depends on how deep the damage is. Full-thickness transplants replace the entire cornea from inner, middle, and outer layer damage. If only the outer and middle layers have damage, you may only need a partial thickness transplant. Lastly, an endothelial keratoplasty replaces only the innermost layer of the cornea.
Schedule a Visit with Dr. DeCarlo for Keratoplasty
If you have a corneal disorder that requires surgery, set an appointment with Dr. DeCarlo by calling DeCarlo Eye Center at (414) 476-5120. Our clinic is in Wauwatosa, which is convenient for anyone in Elm Grove, Milwaukee, or Brookfield. Let Dr. DeCarlo restore your vision with a keratoplasty procedure.