Corneal transplantation is a quite a common procedure in Australia and can help people who have poor vision due to diseases of the cornea. Glasses and contact lenses will usually be tried before a decision is made that a corneal transplant is required. If adequate vision can be achieved with glasses or contact lenses, a transplant can usually be avoided or delayed.
Numerous diseases may require a transplant. The most common diseases requiring a corneal transplant include:
- Fuchs’ Endothelial Dystrophy: this is a disease where the inner cell layer of the cornea (called the endothelium) is affected. It causes the clarity of the cornea to be reduced.
- Keratoconus: this is a disease where the shape of the cornea changes and the cornea takes on a conical shape. Vision is poor primarily due to the abnormal shape of the cornea.
- Pseudophakic Bullous Keratopathy: this is similar to Fuchs’ Endothelial Dystrophy and can occur after cataract surgery or other eye surgery.
- Eye trauma: corneal scarring can occur after significant injury to the cornea. A corneal transplant may be required to improve vision.