At Visionary Eye Doctors, our specialists perform traditional, full-thickness corneal transplants (penetrating keratoplasty), as well as corneal grafts that involve replacing only part of the cornea. Thanks to innovative technology and scientific advances, this common procedure is not as daunting as many people might think.
At Visionary Eye Doctors, we offer the following options for corneal transplant:
PKP: Penetrating keratoplasty is often referred to as traditional corneal transplant surgery because it replaces the full thickness of the cornea. During the procedure, a “button” of tissue is removed from the diseased or injured cornea using either a surgical cutting instrument called a trephine or a femtosecond laser. A matching “button” from the donor tissue is then positioned and sutured into place. The sutures, which are finer than a human hair, are left in place for several months to a year or more after surgery.
DALK: Deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty preserves the 2 innermost layers of the cornea: Descemet’s membrane and the endothelium. This partial-thickness graft reduces the risk of several complications that come with full-thickness grafts and preserves more of your eye’s healthy tissue. Your surgeon will discuss whether or not you are a candidate for DALK.
DSAEK: Descemet’s stripping and automated endothelial keratoplasty replaces only the damaged endothelium – the innermost layers of cells within the cornea – while leaving the healthy parts intact. This allows our surgeons to use a much smaller incision, reducing recovery times and risks as compared to a traditional corneal transplant.
Alternative to Corneal Transplant: PTK
Some corneal conditions, such as certain dystrophies, scars, and infections, are eligible for treatment with phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK). This is an innovative alternative to corneal transplant for carefully selected patients. PTK utilizes a computer-guided excimer laser to precisely vaporize layers of damaged or diseased corneal tissue, effectively removing the surface irregularities.