Corneal Diseases & Surgery

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Corneal Diseases & Surgery

Comprehensive Eye Care in Latham & Clifton Park

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 At the Brass Eye Center, we believe everyone deserves beautiful, sharp, crystal-clear vision. That's why we offer a wide variety of high-quality preventive and correctional eye treatments and procedures, and why we work with every patient to monitor and maintain the health of their eyes over the long term. We strive to focus on prevention, but sometimes, diseases are unavoidable – and when corneal diseases develop, surgery may be the best option for preserving your vision.

About Corneal Disease

The cornea is the outer protective barrier of the eye, and it's critical eyes and vision. But over time, corneal disease can cause the cornea to fog over and become cloudy, obscuring proper vision. When this occurs, the only way to restore vision is through a corneal transplant surgery, or keratoplasty. Thankfully, this surgery is one of the most successful transplant procedures in all of medicine!

Corneal transplant surgery can help to relieve pain in the inner structures of the eye, more effectively protect the eye from damage, and also improve the overall vision of the patient. We may also recommend keratoplasty when a patient suffers from corneal disease, has suffered trauma to the eye like a chemical burn, or has experienced complication from a laser corrective surgery like LASIK.

The Treatment Process

To perform the surgery, we'll need a donor cornea, so the first step is to get on a waiting list for a donor eye from a local eye bank. The US donor system is highly refined, so generally it takes only a few weeks to find a suitable donor. Once we find a donor, we'll prep you for surgery. Corneal transplants are routine procedures that we perform on an outpatient basis, and depending on your situation and preference, we can perform the treatment under local or general anesthesia. 

After numbing the eye, your surgeon will carefully take out a small section of the corneal tissue, replacing it with tissue from the donor eye. All in all, the surgery takes less than two hours.

Recovering from Corneal Surgery

The recovery process can take up to or more than a year, and you'll need to wear a protective shield over your eye until the surgery site heals completely. You may experience blurred vision for several weeks as your eye adjusts to the new cornea, and you'll need to avoid heavy lifting or exercise for several weeks following the surgery. That said, you should be able to return to your normal job within seven days of the procedure. 

We'll prescribe you with steroidal eye drops to help your eye adjust to the new transplant. Depending on how well healing goes, we may remove the stitches anywhere from 3 to 17 months after the surgery.

Potential Complications

Corneal transplants have an exceptionally high success rate, but just like with any other medical procedure, complications are always possible. There are four warning signs for corneal transplant rejection, so if you experience any of the following - even years after your surgery - please contact us immediately:

  • Redness
  • Intense light sensitivity
  • Pain
  • Decreased vision

Post-Recovery

As your eye continues to adjust, you may see vision improve for up to a year following the surgery. If you do already, you'll still need to wear glasses or contact lenses to correct vision problems, although you'll need to wait until we remove the stitches to get a prescription. Once the eye has healed fully, we may recommend laser corrective surgery to further improve your vision.

Contact Your Clifton Park & Latham, NY Ophthalmologists

While the process can take time, with proper care, a corneal surgery can help you restore the beautiful, clear vision you deserve. If you'd like to talk about corneal surgery, find out more about the other treatments we offer, or come in for a routine eye exam, please call us at 518-782-7827, reach out to us at our contact page, or schedule a consultation using our easy online form. We now have two convenient locations, one in Latham and one in Clifton Park.