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Treating Corneal Disease

Cornea Transplant

Corneal TransplantThe clear tissue in front of the eye is known as the cornea. It protects the inner eye, and its curved shape functions somewhat like the lens of a camera, bending light rays so they land correctly on the retina. If the cornea should become damaged or weakened by disease or injury, a cornea transplant may become necessary. The cornea transplant involves replacing the damaged cornea with a healthy cornea donated to an eye bank.

Either local or general anesthesia can be used during cornea transplant at Chicago Cornea Consultants, depending on your needs. Working through a surgical microscope, your damaged cornea will be carefully removed, and at this time any additional work (such as cataract correction, if needed) may also be completed. The clear donor cornea is sewn into place, and a shield is placed over the eye for protection.

The entire cornea transplant procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis, so you can go home that day. You should remember that, like any surgical procedure, there are some risks involved with cornea transplant, including a low chance for tissue rejection, which is uncommon and can usually be treated with eyedrops. The success rate for cornea transplant is very high, and most patients are pleased with their improved vision.

We are proud to offer selected patients the “endothelial keratoplasty” procedure, (also known as DSAEK or DSEK), which is associated with much faster rehabilitation, less astigmatism, and less long-term risk than traditional penetrating keratoplasty. If you have damaged or weakened corneas that are affecting your vision, cornea transplant may be right for you.

The most common indications for corneal transplantation are keratoconus, Fuchs' corneal dystrophy, and Corneal Dystrophy. For more information on corneal transplantation contact Chicago Cornea Consultants in Chicago, Highland Park or Hoffman Estates. 

Corneal Transplant Chicago - Endothelial Keratoplasty

A closeup view of an elderly man's blue eye.At Chicago Cornea Consultants, our doctors treat a wide range of eye conditions. While conservative treatments will be provided as long as they are effective, we also offer more aggressive surgical treatments for advanced stages of vision loss. Endothelial keratoplasty is offered at our Chicago, Hoffman Estates, and Highland Park offices to treat corneal diseases . This procedure removes damaged corneal tissue and replaces it with healthy donor tissue in order to restore clear vision. Contact us today to learn more about how this sophisticated treatment can help you experience improved vision.

When is Endothelial Keratoplasty Necessary?

Endothelial keratoplasty is more commonly referred to as a corneal transplant. However, unlike a traditional cornea transplant, endothelial keratoplasty involves the removal of only the inner, endothelial layer of the cornea. Corneal dystrophy (or the accumulation of abnormal material within the cornea), corneal edema, or failed corneal transplants, can be treated with endothelial keratoplasty.

Endothelial keratoplasty can not treat keratoconus, a condition in which the weakened corneal tissue begins to bulge and become cone-shaped. While keratoconus can be initially treated with eye glasses, soft contact lenses, or hard contact lenses, advanced stages require more aggressive treatments of traditional corneal transplants - which include penetrating keratoplasty (PK) or, in some cases, deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK). Contact our office to find out which procedure would be best for you.

The Procedure

During the endothelial keratoplasty procedure, our doctors remove the damaged or diseased inner layer of the cornea (the endothelial layer) and replace it with healthy donor tissue. This procedure is performed after the eyes are numbed with drops. A general anesthetic may be used as well. The endothelial layer of the cornea is reached through a small incision. Once the damaged tissue has been removed, our doctors can place the healthy donor tissue. At our practice, we now offer the DMEK method of endothelial keratoplasty to qualifying patients. This technique uses a thinner layer of donor tissue, resulting in faster recovery and fewer long-term risks. Contact us today to learn more about how endothelial keratoplasty can help you.

Results

Endothelial keratoplasty has provided many of our patients with improved vision. The majority of patients experience 20/20 vision or better following this procedure. For those patients who undergo the DMEK method of surgery, recovery time is minimal.

Risks

The primary risk of endothelial keratoplasty is a rejection of the donor corneal tissue. Not only is this an unlikely occurrence, but in many cases of donor rejection, the problem can be easily treated with eye drops. Overall, the success rate of endothelial keratoplasty is very high. The absolute best way to ensure a successful corneal surgery is to choose a qualified, reputable surgeon.

Contact Chicago Cornea Consultants

If you have suffered corneal damage or disease that requires aggressive treatment, endothelial keratoplasty can help you regain clear vision. To learn more about this procedure, contact Chicago Cornea Consultants today at any of our locations including Chicago, Hoffman Estates and Highland Park. Our skilled ophthalmologists are happy to explain this treatment to you in further detail and answer any questions you may have.

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