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Cornea Transplant

A cornea transplant is an operation to remove all or part of a damaged cornea and replace it with healthy donor tissue. It is also referred to as keratoplasty or a corneal graft (which means exactly the same). This procedure is done to improve sight, relieve pain and treat severe infection or damage.

During the operation you will probably be awake, but will receive medicine to relax you. Local anesthesia (this is medicine that numbs) will be injected around your eye to block pain and prevent eye movement during the transplant.

Any questions regarding the donated cornea and processes regarding donation can be discussed with Dr Roelof.

The most common type of corneal transplant is called penetrating keratoplasty. During this procedure, Dr Roelof removes a small round piece of your cornea. The donated tissue will then be sewed into the opening of your cornea.


A corneal transplant is recommended when:

  • Vision problems are caused by the thinning of the cornea, most often due to keratoconus. (A transplant may be considered when less invasive treatments are not an option.)
  • The cornea is scarred because of severe infections or injuries.
  • Vision loss is caused by cloudiness of the cornea, most often due to Fuchs’ dystrophy
Cataract Surgery


Keratoconus: A progressive eye disease in which the normally round cornea thins and begins to bulge into a cone-like shape.

Fuchs’ dystrophy: This an eye disease in which the innermost layer of cells in the cornea undergoes degenerative changes.

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