What is Keratoprosthesis and How Does it Restore Vision?

At Focal Point Vision, we use keratoprosthesis eye surgery to help patients restore their vision. This vision correction surgery removes and replaces the cornea. It has been proven to be an effective treatment for corneal disease. Keratoprosthesis is a combination of a donor cornea and an artificial one that is used in patients who need severe ocular surface surgery. Our board-certified ophthalmologists have experience performing keratoprosthesis throughout the Greater San Antonio area.

What is corneal disease?

Corneal disease is a serious medical condition that can cause cloudy vision, scarring, and even blindness. There are three major types of corneal disease, including:

  • Keratoconus

  • Fuchs’ endothelial dystrophy

  • Bullous keratopathy

Our doctors evaluate our patients for corneal disease by using a slit lamp exam that looks for abnormal changes in the eye. Once diagnosed with corneal disease, we can make suggestions for treatments that will provide vision restoration.

Who is a candidate for keratoprosthesis?

At Focal Point Vision, we offer comprehensive eye exams that can determine if this corneal disease treatment is appropriate for your eye health.

Keratoprosthesis is medically appropriate for any patients with:

  • Corneal blindness

  • 20/40 or worse vision

  • An opaque cornea

  • Ocular chemical burn

  • Autoimmune condition with ocular improvement

  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome

  • At least one failed corneal transplant allograft

  • There is no end-stage glaucoma or retinal detachment present.

How is keratoprosthesis done?

On the day of your cornea transplant, you will be given local anesthesia to your eye. Our surgeons will use a keratoprosthesis device that has four parts: a front screw, donor corneal tissue, a backplate, and a locking ring that holds it all together. Our doctors perform this eye surgery in two parts. During the first phase, one of our eye surgeons will place an Alphacor into the patient’s eye, which will need time (sometimes several months) to integrate with the rest of their eye. Once they are fully healed, we perform a second surgery to complete the corneal transplant process. This vision correction surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, and most individuals go home the same day.

Recovery after eye surgery

Once your cornea transplant is complete, you will be given eye drops and oral medication that helps control pain, swelling, or infection. We recommend you wear eye shields to protect your eye as it heals properly. Follow-up exams are necessary to monitor your progress and to look for possible surgery complications.

Most patients who receive this cornea transplant will have their vision at least partially restored. As your eye adjusts to the new cornea, your vision may worsen before improving a few months later. This vision correction surgery has been proven to correct astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness.

Learn how to treat corneal disease

While a cornea transplant can provide excellent results, other patients may need another surgery. At Focal Point Vision, our ophthalmologists can evaluate your eyes to determine if you’re a candidate for a keratoprosthesis cornea. We offer different eye surgeries that can restore eye health and vision. If you have a corneal disease and want to learn more about keratoprosthesis, call our San Antonio, TX office today to schedule an appointment.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.