You’ve probably heard of heart and kidney transplants, but the most common type of transplant in the world, one you’re statistically more likely to need, is actually a corneal transplant. In addition to being the most common type of transplant, it also boasts a success rate of over 90 percent. That’s good news for the thousands of people who need their damaged, diseased or infected corneal tissue replaced in order to maintain their sight.
The importance of the cornea
The cornea is the dome-shaped front surface of the eye. Most of the eye’s refractive (necessary bending of light) and focusing function takes place in the cornea. While providing such an important function, the corneas are also “out front” where they are most susceptible to injury. Luckily, they also have amazing abilities to heal themselves when minor injuries and abrasions occur. However, some deeper scratches and injuries cause a degree of scarring that can reduce vision, even cause blindness. This can bring about the need for a traditional or partial corneal transplant.
What happens in a corneal transplant
Damaged tissue is replaced with healthy tissue from an eye bank. Fortunately, the U.S. has a good supply of corneas for use in transplants due to many eye banks across the country. Eye banks are able to supply increasingly sophisticated pre-cut tissue for treating problems with both the front and back of the cornea.
Why a corneal transplant could be necessary
Corneal tissue can become damaged due to:
Such as corneal diseases that cause degeneration of the tissue
Including bacterial and viral
Trauma to the cornea can cause eye problems that could eventually require a transplant, including:
- Foreign matter, scratches, abrasions in the eye’s main line of vision
- Chemical and/or penetrating injuries
- Drying out from issues that prevent the eyelids from closing
You can also improve your existing corneas
Advances in procedures, including laser and surgical, have allowed us to correct certain vision problems. This can reduce or eliminate the need for wearing eyeglasses for many patients.
Learn more about cornea surgery and transplants
Call for a consultation appointment today: 707-546-9800.