The cornea is the clear outer lens on the front of the eye. A corneal transplant is surgery to replace the cornea with tissue from a donor. It is one of the most common transplants done.
Keratoplasty; Penetrating keratoplasty
You will probably be awake during the transplant. You will get medicine to relax you. Local anesthesia (numbing medicine) will be injected around your eye to block pain and prevent eye movement during the surgery.
The tissue for your corneal transplant will come from a person (donor) who has recently died. The donated cornea is processed and tested by a local eye bank to make sure it is safe for use in your surgery.
The most common type of corneal transplant is called penetrating keratoplasty. During this procedure, your surgeon will remove a small round piece of your cornea. The donated tissue will then be sewed into the opening of your cornea.
A newer technique is called lamellar keratoplasty. In this procedure, only the inner or outer layers of the cornea are replaced, rather than all the layers. This technique can lead to faster recovery and fewer complications.