Cornea Transplant Surgery – As the outermost layer of the eyeball, the cornea becomes an important part of the eye to guard. The cornea consists of an epithelial layer, Bowman membrane, stroma, descement membrane, and endothelial cells arranged in such a way. These layers serve to reflect the light entering the eyeball so that light is passed to the brain’s nerves, through the retina and pupils, to optimize the process of vision.
What is Cornea Transplant Surgery?
Cornea Transplant Surgery / corneal grafts / keratoplasty is a surgical procedure performed by replacing the cornea that has abnormalities / damage with the donor cornea.
This action has several benefits, namely to replace the cornea of the infected eye with donor corneal tissue, maintain the integrity of the eyeball, as well as sharply improve vision.
Blindness or sharp reduced vision can occur due to a hairy or cloudy cornea, so light cannot reach the eye nerves called the retina.
Reduced vision due to corneal abnormalities such as corneal infections, corneal injuries and congenital corneal disease can be corrected by corneal transplantation.
Corneal transplant surgery types
- Penetrating Keratoplasty.
The entire cornea layer is replaced with a corneal donor. For example: IEK
- Lamellar Keratoplasty. Only part of the cornea layer is replaced. For example: DALK, DSAEK.
Indication for keratoplasty
Restore vision so patients can see more clearly.
Eliminate corneal abnormalities that can damage the eyeball. For example: bacterial or fungal infections.
Improving the structure of the cornea that is already thin / hollow that can threaten the integrity of the eyeball.
Cornea Transplant Surgery Purpose
Transplanted cornea aims to:
- Maintain the integrity of the eyeball (tectonic keratoplasty), for example, in case of the infection / injury cornea resulting in leakage / exit of the eyeball.
- Replace corneas with severe infections (ulcers) where corneal damage persists despite having been given maximum therapy with medications (therapeutic keratoplasty)
- Improves sharp vision (optical keratoplasty), for example, there is scarring of the cornea (cloudy cornea) or cornea that has permanent swelling after previous eye surgery.
Corneal transplant preparation
Most people who receive a corneal transplant will have vision recovered, at least half of them. The results of a cornea transplant depend on the reason for your surgery and your health condition.
The risk of complications and rejection of the cornea (unsuitable) can occur several years after the corneal transplant is performed. Therefore, make sure to check up with your eye doctor every year. Rejection of the cornea can usually be overcome by treatment.
Before keratoplasty is performed, the patient will undergo a series of preparations below:
- Thorough eye examination.
The ophthalmologist will detect a medical condition in the eye that may cause postoperative complications.
- Eye measurement.
The ophthalmic doctor will measure the patient’s eye to determine the appropriate size of the donor cornea.
- Review the drugs and supplements being consumed.
Patients may need to stop taking certain medications or supplements before or after corneal transplantation.
- Treatment of other eye diseases.
Other eye diseases can reduce the success of corneal transplantation. For example, infection or inflammation of the eyes. Therefore, the doctor will treat these diseases before performing keratoplasty.
How to find a cornea donor?
Most of the cornea used in this procedure is obtained from deceased donors. Unlike other organ transplantations, such as the liver or kidneys, people who need a corneal transplant generally do not have to wait too long.
This is because many people specifically allow their corneas to be donated after they die, unless they have certain conditions. So, there are quite a lot of corneas available for transplantation compared to other organs.
Some conditions that make a person unable to donate his cornea, such as having certain central nerve system problems, infections, or having eye surgery. You also can’t get corneal donors from people with unknown causes of death.