When your cornea, the transparent dome-shaped surface of your eye that provides most of your eye’s focusing power, is damaged, we may need to perform a cornea transplant. A cornea transplant can restore vision, reduce pain, and improve the appearance of a damaged or diseased cornea.
At Millennium Park Eye Center, we perform a variety of partial and full thickness cornea transplants. Here’s some more information on the procedures.
Why would a person need a cornea transplant?
A cornea transplant restores vision when a patient has a damaged cornea. These conditions can be treated with this procedure:
- Fuch’s dystrophy
- An outward-bulging cornea
- A thinning cornea
- Cornea scarring from injury or infection
- Clouding of the cornea
- Swelling of the cornea
- Corneal ulcers
- Complications from a previous eye surgery
The most common form of corneal transplant is called penetrating keratoplasty. In this procedure, your Millennium Park surgeon cuts through the entire thickness of the abnormal/diseased cornea and removes a small button-sized disk of corneal tissue. This is done with an instrument called a trephine for precision. The donor cornea is cut to fit and is then placed into the opening. Fine stitches then keep the new cornea in place.
Sometimes, it’s better to not remove the entire thickness of the cornea, but to simply remove certain damaged layers.
- Endothelial keratoplasty — This procedure removes diseased tissue from the back corneal layers, including the endothelium. Donor tissue is then implanted to replace the removed tissue.
- Anterior lamellar keratoplasty — This procedure removes diseased tissue from the front corneal layers, including the epithelium and the stroma, but leaves the back endothelial layer in place.
Cornea transplants usually are successful procedures, either fully restoring or at least partially restoring the patient’s damaged vision.
Are you having issues with your vision? Or is it time to come in for your regular eye exam? Call Millennium Park Eye Center at (312) 996-2020 to make your appointment.