Corneal Transplant

Regain your sight with corneal transplant: If you have lost your vision because of a corneal disease, one of different types of advanced corneal transplants that Dr. Arbabi offers may give you back your sight

What is a corneal transplant?

This is a complex but sight-restoring operation performed by replacing the diseased corneal tissue with healthy tissue from a patient who donated their cornea. The operation is also referred to as keratoplasty or corneal graft, Two of most common reasons for a cornea transplant are keratoconus and a condition called Fuches endothelial dystrophy.
Corneal Transplant

What are the types of corneal transplant?

Dr. Arbabi offers all different types of corneal transplants so you always get what is best suited to your specific eye.


Penetrating keratoplasty (PK)

A full-thickness transplant

Deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK)

Replacing or reshaping the outer and middle (front) layers of the cornea and leaving behind the healthy back layer. This is an ideal surgery for patients with keratoconus.

DMEK corneal transplant

This is the least invasive of all corneal transplant surgeries which is performed through a keyhole incision (3mm). It may not require any stitches. In this operation the inner membrane of the diseased cornea is replaced with a donated membrane leaving behind the other 95% or so of your own cornea. This is the latest type of corneal transplant for patients who have problem with the inner layer of the cornea. This is an ideal solution for patients with advanced Fuches endothelial dystrophy. 

DSAEK corneal transplant

This is similar to DMEK above but it is thicker and tends to give slightly inferior vision compared to DMEK. Dr. Arbabi only offer this operation in patients who are not suitable for the superior DMEK surgery. 

Who is suitable for corneal transplant?

Take our online suitability test

1 Min. Assessment

Anyone who has poor vision because of corneal scars and or irregularities

People who had previous corneal infection and scars

If you had previous eye trauma causing corneal problems

Previous chemical eye burn

End stage Keratoconus not amenable to other treatments

Other eye conditions like Fuchs endothelial dystrophy

What to Expect

On the Day of Your Treatment

laser eye surgery
1. Warm welcome
You will meet with Dr. Arbabi who will review your clinical measurements, examine you and make you feel at ease.
laser eye surgery
2. Ensuring you are comfortable
Depending on type of corneal transplant you will be given either local anaesthetics or you will be put to sleep with a general anaesthetic
3. Corneal Transplant
If you have a DSAEK or DMEK corneal transplant, this will be carried out through a small keyhole surgery and the new cornea will be attached to your own cornea with a small air bubble and requires no suturing. In cases of DALK and PK the new cornea will be sutured to your own cornea.

After the Treatment

after treatment care
1. What to Expect
The eye will feel slightly sore and red for the first week or so. The vision will be blurry during this initial period.
after treatment care
2. Aftercare drops and advice
You will be given your aftercare drops and advice. You will be asked to slowly decrease the frequency of your anti-rejection drop over next a few months. You are likely to be asked to use this anti-rejection drop once every day for many years or life-long.
after treatment care
3. The future
The visual recovery depends on type of corneal transplant you had. If you had DMEK or DSEK corneal transplant the vision tend to recovers within 4 weeks. If you had DALK or PK transplant the full visual recovery varies significantly. Some have good vision within first 4 weeks while others will have to wait 12 to 24 months and may require further suregry (such as laser eye surgery) to recover the vision.

More information

Corneal Transplant step by step answer to all your questions

Risks include:

  • There is lifelong risk of the cornea rejecting. Some rejections can be successfully treated with increased medications, but others can lead to failing of the graft and need for further transplant.
  • You will be on long term steroid drops to decrease risk of rejection or inflammation. In some cases you may need to use a drop life long. 
  • Risk of infection. 
  • Risk of graft failing and never recovering since the day of surgery. 
  • Bleeding in the eye. 
  • Risk of developing other eye conditions such as cataract, glaucoma, retinal detachment.
  • Problems with stitches.
  • Need for further surgery to sharpen your vision (this is particularly the case with a DALK or PK transplant).

A corneal transplant is usually a last resource operation. Dr. Arbabi will only offer this when no other laser surgery for eyes is suitable. Therefore, there is no real alternative to it if you require the surgery. Dr. Arbabi will discuss your cases and advise the best option. One main alternative option is special contact lenses such as RGP or scleral lenses. Another alternative for those who are suitable is an advanced type of laser eye surgery called Sequential Customized Therapeutic Keratectomy or photo therapeutic keratectomy (PTK).

Discover the freedom from glasses or contact lenses

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