Corneal Transplant Surgery in Brooklyn, NY
Although it is rare, the outermost layer of the eye called the cornea can become so badly damaged or diseased that it is unable to function properly and causes pain and other symptoms. When this occurs, corneal transplant may be needed. Corneal transplant involves replacing part or all of the diseased or damaged cornea with a healthy donor cornea. Modern techniques and technology have enhanced the safety and success of corneal transplant, which is available with Dr. Samer Khosrof of Leading Lasik.
When Is a Corneal Transplant Needed?
Corneal transplant is needed in cases of a severely diseased or damaged cornea. It may relieve pain and other symptoms of a diseased corneal. Transplant may be performed to treat the following corneal conditions:
Keratoconus – progressive thinning and bulging of the cornea that changes the cornea’s ability to properly refract light. Keratoconus can cause astigmatism and nearsightedness, as well as swelling and tissue scarring that impairs sight.
Fuchs’ Dystrophy – gradual deterioration of the cells in the cornea’s inner layer, leading to corneal swelling and visual distortion. Fuchs’ dystrophy can also cause pain and tiny blisters on the surface of the cornea.
Lattice Dystrophy – accumulation of abnormal proteins in the corneal tissue. Lattice dystrophy leads to corneal cloudiness that can reduce visual acuity. Another side effect is scarring and tissue erosion that distorts the corneal curvature and exposes nerves in the cornea. Severe pain is possible.
Iridocorneal Endothelial Syndrome (ICE) – migration of the endothelial cells off the cornea into the iris. ICE can cause the cornea to swell and the iris and pupil to distort. In some cases, side effects lead to glaucoma.
Corneal transplant uses a healthy cornea from a donor. There is a comprehensive screening process that involves the review of the donor’s medical and family history and an examination of the donor eyes and corneas. Only corneas that meet stringent guidelines set forth by the FDA and the Eye Bank Association of America are used.
Cornea transplant patients are also closely evaluated; eye measurements are taken and a thorough eye exam is performed to look for anything that could cause post-transplant complications.
On the day of the corneal transplant surgery, the eyes are numbed with local anesthetic and a sedative is given to help the patient relax. Depending on the needs of the patient, different techniques may be used. If the patient requires replacement of the entire cornea, Dr. Khosrof will perform a procedure called full-thickness cornea transplant (also called penetrating keratoplasty or PK). During this procedure a full-thickness button-shaped piece of tissue is excised with an instrument called a trephine or with a laser. It is replaced with donor tissue, which is then stitched into place, and a plastic shield is positioned over the eye for protective purposes.
Not every case requires a full-thickness corneal transplant. In some cases Dr. Khosrof only replaces the inner layer of the cornea with a donor graft (partial-thickness corneal transplant). In recent years two revolutionary partial-thickness corneal transplant procedures have been developed: Descemet’s Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK or DSAEK) and Descemet’s Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK).
During DSAEK, a tiny incision is made and then the back layer of the cornea is removed and replaced with new endothelial cells attached to a thin layer of donor corneal tissue. DSAEK has a rapid recovery and leads to visual clarity with few of the issues commonly associated with traditional corneal transplantation.
In DMEK the Descemet’s membrane (back layer of the cornea) and the endothelium are removed and replaced with a layer of donor cornea consisting of healthy endothelial cells and Descemet’s membrane. DMEK has a rapid recovery and leads to better visual acuity with less chance of graft rejection than other types of endothelial transplantation.
The specific plan of treatment is discussed and determined during the initial corneal transplant consultation.
After surgery, special medications are prescribed to reduce the risk of infection, swelling and pain. Frequent follow-up exams are performed to monitor the eye’s recovery and identify any possible complications.
Contact Dr. Samer Khosrof
If you are suffering the visual effects of a diseased or damaged cornea, and it has been recommended you have corneal transplant, Dr. Samer Khosrof can meet with you to discuss the procedure in more detail. Please call 718-630-1070 to make an appointment with the doctor.
Please fill our appointment form, and one of our team members will contact you to schedule an appointment time.
We offer our patients the latest, most effective and virtually painless procedure with rapid results for your eye care needs .