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Dr. Subhash P. Kadam


Phacosurgeon and Oculoplastic Surgeon


Dr. Sunita S. Kadam


(Contact-Lens Specialist)


Dr. Ranjit S. Kadam

FRCS(Ed., U.K.), DNB(Opth.),DO

Phacosurgeon and Glaucoma Specialist

Specialist in LASIK


Dr. Manisha R. Kadam


Feliow of L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad

Phacosurgeon & Cornea Specialist

Specialist in LASIK





Corneal Transplant


The cornea is the front, outmost layer of the eye. just as a window lets light into a room, the cornea lets light into the eye. It also focuses the light passing through it to make a clear and sharp image.

Corneal problems can happen to anyone at any age. Sometimes due to disease, injury or infection the cornea becomes cloudy or wrapped. A damaged cornea like a frosted or misshape windowpane, distorts light as it enters the eye. This not only causes distortion in vision, it may also cause pain.

When there is no other remedy, doctors advise a corneal transplant. Is this procedure an ophthalmologist (corneal surgeon) surgically replaces the diseased cornea with a healthy one to restore clear vision. This booklet will answer some questions that you may have about corneal transplants.



A transplant is the replacement of damaged or diseased tissues or organs with healthy tissues or organs. In a corneal transplant, the coludy or warped cornea is replaced with a healthy cornea. If the new cornea heals without problems, there may be tremendous improvement in the vision.


The healthy corneal tissue used for transplantation is supplied by an Eye Bank. Eye Banks work around the clock to collect, evaluate and store donated corneas. The corneas are collected form human donors within hours of death. Stringent tests are done to ensure the safety of the person receiving the cornea. The Eye Bank verifies the donor's medical history and cause of death, and performs blood tests to ensure the diseased person did not have any contagious disease, such ans AIDS or hepatitis.


Since the cornea was one of the first parts of the body to be transplanted, corneal transplants remain one of the most common, and most successful of all the transplants.


  • Chemical Injury


  • Diseased Infected Cornea



  • Diseased Cornea Form Birth


  • Thin Layered Cornea / Keratokonus



  • Thin Cornea Due To Infection


  • Infected Cornea




Anything you see is an image that enters your eye in the form of the light and send a message to your brain, enabling you to see. For perfect vision all the parts of your eye need to work properly.


  • The cornea is the clear, outer layer of the eye.
  • The pupil is an opening that lets the light enter the eye.
  • The iris, the colored part of the eye, makes the pupil larger or smaller.
  • The lens bends to focus light onto the retina.
  • The retina receives light that has been focused by the cornea and lens.
  • A clear(vitreous) gel fills the inside of the eye, giving it shape.


The cornea is clear to let light into the eye & curved to focus the light rays :


if you are advised to undergo a corneal transplant, your ophthalmologist will tell you what is required. The transplant will be scheduled according to the condition of your eye and the availability of a donor cornea. Occasionally, a shotage of donated corneas may delay surgery. If both your eyes need new corneas, the second transplant will not be performed until the first eye has stabilized, which may take upto a year. After surgery, you may be permitted to return home the same day, or you may be required to stay in the hospital for a day or more.



  • It is not necessary to find a cornea with a matching tissue or blood type.
  • The race, Gender, and eye colour of the donor are not important.
  • A Corneal transplant wont't change your natural eye colour.
  • The cornea heals slowly and improvement in vision may take a year or mare.
  • It is difficult to shape the new cornea perfectly. So, astigmatism (a condition where the cornea has an irregular shape, making images seem blurred or distorted) is common after a corneal transplant. However, this can be corrected.



If you are taking any other medication, ask your opthamologist whether you should continue it. you will probably be asked not to eat or drink anything for serveral hours before the surgery.

Usually a local anesthesia is used for surgery, so you will be awake but feel no pain. Intravenous medications will help you relax. The nerves in our eye will be completely numbed so you will not be able to see or move your eye. Sometimes the doctor may use general anesthesia.



For the transplant, the doctors use an operating microscope and very delicate instruments. Once the old cornea is removed, the new cornea is stitched inti the place. The sutures or stitches are barely visible and are not painful.

If necessary, other procedures can be performed at the same time as your transplant. For example, a cataract may be removed and replaced with an intra ocular lens (IOL). An IOL may be replaced or removed. The vitreous gel may removed form the eye and replaced woth fluid. A damaged iris may be repaired. The doctor shall inform about it to you well before hand.



As with other surgical procedures, a corneal transplant involves some risks, most of them can be treated. Some possible complication are :


  • Eye infections
  • Failure of the donor cornea to function normally
  • Rejection of the donor cornea by your body
  • Cataract (clouding of the eye's lens), Glaucoma (built-up of fluid leading to increased pressure in the eye)
  • Bleeding form the iris
  • Swelling or detachment of the retia



Rejection of a transplant cornea can occur at any time, but is more likly to happen in the first year after surgery. Unfortunately, rejection reduces the chance of success of any repeat corneal transplantations. However, this can be prevented by timely diagnosis and appropriate management.

There are conditions where the transplant is almost 90% surely successful.


  • Watch out for these dange signals
  • Redness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Vision loss
  • Pain


The acronym RSVP can help you remember these symptoms. If you notice any of these symptoms in your operated eye, however minor they may seem and regardless of the time of day, contact us immediately. If this is not possible, visit the nearest ophthalmologist, preferably a cornea specialist.



You can bathe carefully from below the neck, and also shave, but do not let the operated eye become wet for at least 15 days. You may gently clean the eyelids with a piece of cotton boiled in water or a sterilized tissue. Do not wet the eyeball. You should wear an eye patch at night. The doctor will advise you to wear protective glasses or an 'EYE SHIELD' to avoid accidental injury.


  • Do not lift heavy things.
  • Do not bend so that your head is lower than your waist.
  • Avoid sleeping on the operated side.
  • No sexual intercourse until permitted by the doctor.
  • Do not rub the operated eye.
  • Avoid any vigorous activity.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages.
  • Watch television for short periods only.



At the time of discharge our patient counselor will advise you aboutmedication and follow-up visits. Please follow the instructions regarding medication. Please adhere to the follow-up appointment date.

If you have any concerns or questions, you can ask the doctor when you come for and examination. If you feel you connot wait. call or email us to our numbers below.

If there is an emergency at night, during a weekend, or on a holiday, come for emergency care to the institute.

Always mention the patient's ID number, name and the doctor's name in all communications.


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