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Corneal Transplant


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What is a corneal transplant?

Corneal transplants are one of medicine’s most successful transplant operations. In the past 35 years, more than 250,000 corneal transplants have been performed in the United States. At Bascom Palmer, more than 250 procedures are performed annually. The procedure involves removing the cornea from the donor eye with a special instrument resembling a small cookie cutter. The same method is used to remove the damaged cornea from the patient’s eye. The surgeon then stitches the new cornea into place.

For many individuals, a corneal transplant may be the only hope for restored vision and may be necessary when the cornea is cloudy or damaged due to disease, injury, accident, or hereditary conditions. In these situations, the cornea must be removed and replaced with healthy donor tissue. The procedure is successful in 90 percent of cases, restoring sight and, in some cases, even providing sight for the first time.

When a donor eye is not available, Bascom Palmer experts may decide that keratoprosthesis, or an artificial cornea transplant, will more effective. Keratoprosthesis may be used in patients with extremely poor vision who have not had success with donor corneas.

Members of Bascom Palmer’s corneal transplant team teach patients the acronym RSVP to alert them to potential problems.

This RSVP alert is:

R: increased Redness
S: increased Sensitivity to light
V: decreased Vision
P: increased Pain

Today, regrafts are one of the most common reasons for corneal transplants. Regrafts occur when a patient needs a second corneal transplant because the first one was unsuccessful.

Why Choose Bascom Palmer Eye Institute?

First in the nation to perform an modified osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis. Experts at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine were the first to successfully conduct the MOOKP procedure, implanting a patient’s eyetooth in the eye, as a base to hold a prosthetic lens.

Patient Safety Comes First. Our physicians have developed techniques and instrumentation to make corneal transplants safer for patients. They have developed instruments known as “trephines,” which are used to cut donor and recipient tissues. In addition, Bascom Palmer physicians and scientists have created special diamond knives to be used in surgery and have developed storage solutions to prolong the viability of donor corneas prior to transplantation.

Leading-edge Medicine. If your condition does not improve with eye drops or oral medication, it helps to know that Bascom Palmer is on the forefront of cornea transplant surgery. The knowledge we learn in research trials ensures that you receive state-of-the-art care.

Experience and Expertise. Cornea transplants are a highly specialized procedure, but each year, Bascom Palmer ophthalmologists perform more than 250 transplants. Knowing your doctor has this experience makes you confident your surgery will be done safely and effectively.

Advanced Surgical Laser Technology. To ensure your safety and to improve our treatment techniques, our corneal and external disease experts use advanced surgical lasers for more exact cornea incisions. For patients, this means faster, stronger healing.

Personalized Treatment Plans. No two patients are alike. We fine-tune and personalize corneal transplant surgery for each patient. This helps you achieve your best possible vision results in the safest, most efficient way.

Compassionate Patient Support. Vision problems are stressful. Our team relieves some of your stress by teaching you about your condition and discussing possible solutions. We understand your concerns, answer your questions and share resources that guide you along your journey toward healing.

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