Corneal Transplant Surgery involves removing the central area of a patient’s cornea and replacing it with a donor’s cornea. The surgery is a same-day procedure that takes between one and two hours. Before surgery, the patient is given a light intravenous sedative and the eye is anesthetized. General Anesthesia is sometimes required for the safety of the patient. Once the damaged cornea is removed, the surgeon stitches the transplanted cornea in place.
An eye patch and shield are used to protect the eye after surgery, but removed the next day at the post-operative appointment. This shield is used at night to protect the eye from rubbing. Most patients are asked to limit strenuous physical activities until healing has occurred. Subsequent clinic visits are scheduled to assess healing and remove the sutures. Recovery is longer than with other eye surgeries, often taking one or two years to obtain good vision.