Corneal transplants are required for a number of corneal diseases and a variety of other reasons. Before and after transplant, you will need ongoing information and support. You do not need to go through the corneal transplant surgery and recovery alone. Our cornea surgery experts located in Erie, can help you understand what you will be facing with DSAEK, DMEK or traditional corneal transplant surgery, Penetrating Keratoplasty (PKP).
Prior to the patient’s surgery, the surgeon will prepare for surgery by determining the type of tissue to be used and selecting the technique needed to ensure the best surgical outcomes possible. The patient will begin pre-operative medications three days prior to surgery as instructed. The patient must not eat anything after midnight the day before surgery. On the day of surgery, the patient will arrive at the surgery center approximately one hour prior to surgery for preparation. In the operating room, the patient will be receiving anesthesia for relaxation and numbing medicine.
DSAEK and DMEK are performed through a small incision on the side of the cornea. DSAEK and DMEK involve peeling the diseased endothelial layer from the back of the cornea and leaving the healthy remainder intact (approximately 95%). Then, healthy corneal tissue (called a donor disc) is placed inside the eye through a small incision and positioned with an air bubble in the place of the diseased layer. Two or three stitches may be needed to close the initial incision. Surgery typically lasts 1 hour. At the end of the procedure, you stay lying on your back for another 40 minutes. You are then sent home with an eye patch. You will be directed to use eye drops frequently after the surgery. These are typically reduced at an appropriate time period following surgery. Visual recovery can change with each patient but usually takes three to six weeks for recovery.
Please be advised that you might need a different prescription in your glasses or contact lenses to enhance your vision.
Dry eye occurs when people don’t produce enough tears or the right quality of tears to keep their eyes healthy and comfortable. In the early stages, the symptoms seem to appear and disappear and generally worsen as the day progresses. While dry eye often occurs during the natural aging process, it can be the result of eyelid or blinking problems, certain medications such as antihistamines, oral contraceptives, antidepressants and others, the climate or the environment due to low humidity, wind, dust, injury and various health problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s Syndrome and others.
Diabetic retinopathy is a disease that affects diabetic people and eventually leads to blurry, distorted vision and blindness. When people suffer with diabetes, they may often have unstable glucose levels and they are prone to circulation problems in the back of the eye, known as the retina. The retina is a very sensitive part of the eye that is responsible for interpreting the images that you see and then transmitting these images to the brain. A person with diabetes may experience a restriction on the flow of blood through the vessels within the retina. When this restriction occurs, swelling, bleeding and even hemorrhaging may result.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a deterioration or breakdown of the eye’s macula. The macula is a small area in the retina — the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye. The macula is the part of the retina that is responsible for your central vision, allowing you to see fine details clearly.