The Cornea is the clear front surface of the eye that covers the colored iris and the round pupil. Light is focused while passing through the cornea to allow for clear vision. In order for vision to remain clear, the cornea must be healthy. In essence, the cornea is the windshield of the eye and like a windshield, must be clean and clear in order to work.
If the cornea is damaged, it may become swollen or scarred. In either case, smoothness and clarity may be lost. The scars, swelling or an irregular shape causes the cornea to scatter or distort light, resulting in glare or blurred vision.
If these problems interfere with your ability to see well enough to do the things you enjoy, a cornea transplant may be performed. Thousands of cornea transplants are performed each year and remain the most successful of all transplants. Some conditions that may benefit from a corneal transplant are:
- Corneal failure following previous eye surgery
- Keratoconus, a steep curving of the cornea
- Hereditary corneal failure, such as Fuch’s Dystrophy
- Scarring after infections, especially Herpes Simplex
- Rejection after first Corneal Transplant
- Scarring due to injury
Cornea Transplants are performed on an outpatient basis by the Pine Belt’s only fellowship-trained Cornea Surgeon in our Ambulatory Surgery Center under local anesthesia.
DSAEK (Descemet’s Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty) is a procedure most commonly used to treat patients with Fuch’s Dystropy and Bullous Keratopathy, conditions characterized by the gradual deterioration of the corneal endothelium. The endothelium is responsible for controlling hydration and filtration of the cornea. In order to maintain clear vision, the cornea must be clear and properly hydrated. The DSAEK procedure requires only the damaged area of the cornea to be replaced, which leads to rapid recovery of visual acuity with virtually no associated astigmatism. This revolutionary technique represents a significant advance in corneal transplantation and is performed as an outpatient procedure in our ambulatory surgery center.