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Understanding the Different Types of Cornea Transplants

One of the most altruistic and far-reaching gestures someone can perform is volunteering to allow their organs or tissue to be transplanted after they die. Corneal transplants are less publicized than other transplants, but donor corneas restore and sharpen vision for many patients 

Amazingly, a single donation of corneal tissue can restore sight for two individuals, not just one. Whether you need replacement tissue for just part of your cornea or an entire cornea, one thing is certain: The gifts of pain removal and clearer sight from this surgery are nothing short of miraculous. 

Dr. James Khodabakhsh, Dr. John Hofbauer, and Dr. Billy Pan have decades of clinical experience that make Beverly Hills Institute of Ophthalmology a most trusted practice. You can count on them for highly individualized care, reflecting that your eye care needs are like no one else’s.

Problems of the cornea

Your cornea is the all-important transparent protective layer that covers your eye, filters light,  and enables you to see clearly. When your corneal tissue sustains damage, both your close-up and long-distance vision can be compromised.

There’s no single thing that would require you to need a cornea transplant. Instead, several clinical scenarios can lead to the surgery:

A corneal transplant can tame problems like Fuchs’ dystrophy and keratoconus. Fuchs’ dystrophy is a sometimes-hereditary disorder in which your cornea swells. Keratoconus develops when your cornea thins and bulges. These and other conditions can cause symptoms like discomfort, pain, light sensitivity, and impaired vision. 

Scarring on your cornea that can develop after eye surgery or be infection-related also calls for a corneal transplant. Other eye infection problems lead to the surgery as well. 

Multiple cornea transplant options 

Though there are multiple cornea transplant surgeries that ophthalmologists perform, the Beverly Hills Institute of Ophthalmology team primarily relies on three types:

Partial thickness transplant

Only the cornea’s front and center layers are removed and replaced with donor tissue, while your original back layer remains.

Full thickness transplant

All your cornea layers are replaced with donor tissue,

Endothelial keratoplasty

The thin corneal layer behind the other layers and closest to your iris is removed and replaced with donor tissue.

To determine which cornea transplant is appropriate for you, your doctor analyzes the condition or problem that led to your need for a transplant and how many layers of your cornea need to be replaced with donor tissues. Your medical history, as well as your family’s, plays into your treatment plan as well.  

New cornea transplant option 

Since our ophthalmologists are enthusiastic about providing the most innovative care, we offer the option of an artificial cornea to be used in your transplant when appropriate. Most cornea transplants use donor tissue, but there may be reasons that we recommend you receive an artificial one. 

Your partners in care 

Our team is invested in your total eye health. When it comes to a cornea transplant, we educate you about what to expect, how to prepare, carefully perform the transplant, and treat and assist you during recovery. We want you to know we’re with you every step of the way.

Contact us to discuss how a cornea transplant may be the key to better sight and improved comfort for you. Simply call us at either our Beverly Hills or Torrance, California, office to schedule an appointment. You can also send a message to the team here on our website.

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