I will perform corneal transplant surgery when the cornea of a patient is damaged or diseased to the point that it requires new tissue to replace it. It isn’t a procedure I take lightly, and I will always thoroughly inform the patient of the options and possible outcomes become allowing them to make the decision.
As with any transplant, we must wait for a donor cornea. The standard wait is around 6 months. Once a donor has been located, surgery must take place within 72 hours of availability.
The actual procedure itself takes around 60 minutes and many patients are surprised to learn that they can go home the same day. There are sutures involved and so they will need regular consultations, especially in the early days.
The prognosis for corneal transplant surgery is very good, with a high success rate, even though there is always a risk of rejection (as with any transplant surgery). If rejection does occur, the procedure can be repeated.
For me, this is extremely satisfying procedure. Understandably, a patient usually is quite worried and stressed before the operation. However, once they have received the donor cornea and experienced the good visual outcomes, they tend to be relieved and delighted that they have decided to proceed with the procedure.