What Is A Corneal Transplant?
A cornea transplant is one of the most widely known and performed types of transplants. At Focal Point Vision in San Antonio, TX, we perform this surgery when patients have severely damaged or scarred corneal tissue that can only be solved with removal and a donor transplant. We offer many different types of corneal transplants, including lamellar and penetrating keratoplasties. While a penetrating keratoplasty (PKP) is a full-thickness transplant (meaning that the entire cornea is removed), a deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK) only takes away the portion of the cornea that is scarred and damaged.
What Are the Benefits of a Corneal Transplant?
At Focal Point Vision in San Antonio, TX our board-certified ophthalmologists perform corneal transplants using the PKP and DALK methods for patients with significantly damaged corneal tissues. Benefits of a corneal transplant include:
- Restoring vision
- Reducing pain
- Addressing several conditions that can affect the cornea
- Improving the appearance and function of a damaged or diseased cornea
DALK and PKP Corneal Transplant FAQ
Does a corneal transplant hurt?
No, it doesn’t. Depending on the necessities of your corneal transplant, it may be performed with local anesthesia or under general anesthesia (you’re asleep). But you will not feel pain during either type of anesthesia. During your consultation, we will talk to you about your options and the best route to achieve optimal results.
Are corneal transplants safe?
Yes, they are. Corneal transplants are considered relatively safe for the majority of candidates. All surgeries, no matter how minor, carry a small amount of risk, and a corneal transplant only has a very small risk of complication, typically eye infection.
How long is recovery after a corneal transplant?
If you have a PKP procedure, you may need to stay in the hospital overnight. A DALK procedure is performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning you can go home. Most patients will be able to get back to routine activities in about 2 – 3 weeks. Full recovery with your vision returning can take anywhere from 3 – 4 weeks to a year.
Types Of Cornea Transplants
At Focal Point vision, we offer two different types of keratoplasties depending on your unique situation:
- Deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK) is an option when the inner layers of the cornea are healthy, but the outer portions are not. Some conditions that could call for this type of procedure include keratoconus and corneal scars. For DALK, the inner corneal layer (the endothelium) is left intact and all other layers of the cornea are removed.
- Reserved for more severe cases, full-thickness corneal transplants (also known as penetrating keratoplasty/PKP) involve the removal of a larger section of tissue from the diseased or injured cornea.
Am I A Candidate For A Cornea Transplant?
To determine if you are a good candidate for a cornea transplant in San Antonio, TX at Focal Point Vision, our experienced team of doctors will begin by performing a thorough eye examination and a review of your medical history. Typically, the best candidates for a cornea transplant are in good overall health and have one of a number of eye conditions that often include:
- Corneal ulcers
- Fuch’s dystrophy
- Thinning corneas
- Corneal scarring
- Corneal clouding
- Damage to the cornea from illness or injury
What Happens After My Cornea Transplant?
Immediately following your cornea transplant, you can expect to have between 2 — 3 weeks of downtime. After approval from your ophthalmologist at Focal Point Vision, you can return to your normal routine, even though your vision may still be blurred. Make sure to also avoid heavy lifting. Your provider will communicate with you to give you the green flag for when you are ready to return to full physical capacity as your body adjusts to your new corneas.
Improve Your Vision With A Cornea Transplant
At Focal Point Vision in San Antonio, TX, we’re dedicated to using the world’s most advanced technology in combination with our vast experience to help you see clearly and enjoy a more comfortable life. To set up an appointment or reach out to our team with a question, please contact our office. We’re always eager to provide patients with the education they need to make the best decision for their health.