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Cornea Transplants with Your Las Vegas Ophthalmologist
Keratoplasty surgery, also known as a cornea transplant, is an ophthalmology procedure done by an ophthalmologist to replace a damaged cornea with the corneal tissue from a donor. The cornea is the dome-shaped, transparent surface of your eye and is responsible for the majority of your eyes focusing ability. This type of procedure is one of the most common types of human transplant surgeries in the Las Vegas area; it also has the highest transplant success rate. Corneal transplants are typically used to restore the vision of someone who has a damaged cornea. It is also done to relieve the pain and/or symptoms that are associated with diseases of the cornea.
Common Conditions that May Warrant a Cornea Transplant
Before being considered for a cornea transplant surgery, your eye doctor will first assess the issue to determine if the damage is too severe to be treated with corrective lenses. Injuries to the cornea can be the result of an infection by bacteria, viruses, protozoa or fungi as well as be caused by chemical burns or mechanical trauma. In some situations, a corneal transplant is combined with other types of eye surgery, such as cataract surgery, in order to solve more than one problem with your eyes. Some of the disease conditions that may require a corneal transplant include:
- Keratoconus, which is when the cornea bulges out
- Fuchs’ dystrophy, which is a malfunction of the inner layer of the cornea
- Pseudophakic bullous keratopathy; painful swelling of the cornea
- Cornea scaring that has been caused by infection or injury
- Corneal ulcers, including ulcers that have been caused by infection
- Complications resulting from previous eye surgery
Preparing For a Corneal Transplant
Before transplants of the cornea are scheduled, an ophthalmologist at Brimhall Eye in southwest or northwest Las Vegas, including Tenaya, will do a thorough eye exam, which allows the eye doctor to look for conditions that may cause complications after the surgery. Your eye doctor will take measurements of your eye in order to determine what size donor cornea you will need. Also during your ophthalmology appointment prior to your surgery, the ophthalmologist will review all of the medications and supplements you are currently taking to determine if you may need to stop taking any of them before or after your cornea transplant. Before your eye surgery, you may also need to undergo treatment for any other unrelated eye problems, such as inflammation or infection, which may interfere with a successful cornea transplant. During this time, your doctor will also discuss the procedure with you, including what you should expect during and after the procedure and explain the risks of the procedure.
Once the cornea transplant is done, your ophthalmologist will generally prescribe various medications, such as eye drops and oral medications for use immediately following the cornea transplant and for your recovery that will help control pain, infection and swelling. You will be required to wear an eye patch in order to protect your eye during the healing process. It is essential that you plan to take it easy following your eye surgery, including gradually working your way back into your normal activities. It is also important that you follow up with your eye doctor by making it to all of your appointments and adhering to all recommendations.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Las Vegas Ophthalmologist
If you have an injury to your cornea and want to learn more information about corneal transplants or to learn if you are a candidate for the surgery, please contact Brimhall Eye. For your convenience, we have offices in Northwest and Southwest Las Vegas.