Since the introduction of CXL and scleral lenses, corneal transplant surgical procedures have significantly decreased. Corneal transplants should be an option of last resort.
Types of corneal transplants
Anterior Lamellar Graft
This is the preferred type (must have a healthy endothelium layer ). Only the anterior layers of the cornea are replaced . The advantage of this technique included greater patient comfort, faster healing, a less fragile eye postoperative and greater predictability of visual outcome.
Penetrating Keratoplasty (PK)
PK is the traditional corneal transplant also known as full thickness (all layers of cornea are replaced with a donor cornea). The disadvantages – less comfort, slower healing, more fragile eye postoperative and less predictability of visual outcome.
Corneal transplant surgery is not for everyone.
With new technology, corneal transplants can be avoided 95% of the time. In very rare cases, some keratoconus patients reach a point where contact lenses and other therapies are not effective.
Corneal transplant surgery involves removing a portion of the cornea and replacing it with a new section from a donor. The recovery process may include bleeding, scarring, cataracts, retinal detachment, infection, rejection of donor cornea, and vision problems that require glasses or contact lenses. The majority of patients who undergo corneal transplant surgery still need to wear some form of vision correction, such as glasses, contact lenses, or scleral lenses. For these reasons, corneal transplant surgery should be considered an option of last resort for patients with keratoconus.