A healthy, clear cornea is necessary for good vision. If your cornea is injured or affected by disease, it may become swollen or scarred, and its smoothness and clarity may be lost. Scars, swelling or an irregular shape can cause the cornea to scatter or distort light, resulting in glare or blurry vision.
In this case a cornea transplant maybe necessary. During surgery, the damaged or unhealthy cornea tissue is removed and clear donor cornea tissue is put in its place.
Depending on your corneal condition, you may be a candidate for either Penetrating KeratoPlasty (PKP) or Descemet Stripping Automated Endothelial KeratoPlasty (DSAEK).
With traditional full corneal transplant surgery (PKP), a circular portion is removed from the center of the diseased cornea. A matching circular area is removed from the center of a healthy, clear donor cornea, placed into position and sutured into place.
With a partial cornea transplant procedure (DSAEK), only the abnormal inner lining of the cornea is removed. A thin disc of donor tissue containing the healthy endothelial cell layer is placed on the back surface of the cornea. An air bubble pushes the endothelial cell layer into place until it heals in an appropriate position.