Keystone Eye Associates can provide the following services:
- Corneal Surgery
- Corneal Transplant Surgery
- Sutureless Corneal Transplants
The Most Important Procedure in Corneal Surgery is the Corneal Transplant.
Corneal transplant surgery involves removing the diseased cornea surgically and replacing it with a donated cornea. To help you better understand this procedure, let us briefly describe the structure of the cornea. In the healthy eye, the cornea is a clear, dime-sized piece of tissue that fits like a watch crystal over the blue or brown-colored part of the eye called the iris. Light passes through the cornea (just as it would through a window), through the pupil, then through the lens.
The cornea and lens focus light rays on the retina in the back of the eye. The retina then transmits the image of sight along nerves to the brain. The eye is like a camera in which the retina acts as the film and the cornea and lens act like two lenses of the camera. Cloudiness or irregularity of the cornea or of the lens of the eye results in a blurry image, just as a faulty camera lens would result in a poor photograph.
Corneal cloudiness or irregularity can result from many different kinds of diseases, such as infections, injuries, or inherited tendencies towards a cloudy cornea. In addition, the lens of the eye may become cloudy; this is called a cataract. Depending on the problem, a person might need just a new cornea or a new cornea with removal of the cataract.
Corneal transplant surgery (also called penetrating keratoplasty) has become very effective, with the highest success rate and lowest rejection rate of any transplant surgery.
When the cornea is damaged by any condition that prevents it from providing a clear layer on the surface of the eye, it may be impossible to achieve good vision with glasses or contacts due to the corneal abnormality. While some corneal damage can be treated by performing corrective surgery on the surface of the cornea (sometimes this can be done with a laser) more often vision can only be restored with a corneal transplant.
Corneal transplant surgery involves removing the damaged cornea from the eye and replacing it with a new cornea. The new cornea has come from a donor, just as other organs are donated after death, such as kidneys, livers, or hearts. The new cornea is sewn into place, and after surgery, a clear pathway for light to reach the retina has been restored.
Corneal transplant surgery is a complicated procedure, and full recovery can take from a few months up to a year in some cases. Dr. McGowan has pioneered the Sutureless Corneal Transplant procedure which shortens healing time dramatically as well as reducing the chances of infection and bleeding.
Eyedrops are used to accelerate healing and prevent rejection of the foreign tissue, but fortunately corneal transplant rejections are uncommon and can usually be treated with eyedrops alone, in contrast to rejection of other organ transplants.
Both Fuchs Dystrophy and Keratoconous are common corneal conditions that may be treated medically or surgically. Please use the links for more information about these corneal diseases.