Cornea Transplants

A cornea transplant is an advanced surgical procedure where your natural cornea, the clear outer “window” of your eye, is replaced with an artificial cornea. During a cornea transplant, damaged or diseased cornea tissue is removed and healthy tissue from an eye bank donor is used to replace the damaged cornea.

Common symptoms that may indicate the need for a cornea transplant include eye pain and blurry or cloudy vision. Other treatment options are available for corneal disease, and your Southern Eye Center surgeon will discuss your treatment options with you before making a decision.

The cornea is made up of three layers of tissue, and your surgical procedure will be based on which layer of your cornea needs to be treated. For the first few days after your procedure, patients often experience eye irritation and sensitivity to light. This is normal and will lessen over the first week. Patients can use over-the-counter medications to manage any pain or discomfort.

Your surgeon will schedule a follow-up procedure for 24-48 hours after your initial procedure. He or she will check the health and recovery of your cornea. Recovery will likely include eye drops, corticosteroids, and wearing glasses for some activities to help you avoid contact with the eye.

A cornea transplant is an advanced procedure that has helped many patients see more clearly and improve their quality of life. Schedule a consultation to see if a cornea transplant or another cornea treatment can help improve your vision.


As we age, conditions such as Fuch’s Dystrophy and Bullous Keratopathy cause damage to the inner lining of the cornea. Until recently, we have had no way to repair only the inner layer of the  cornea, so a full cornea transplant was necessary.

DSAEK (Descemet’s Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty) allows us to replace only the damaged inner area of the cornea, 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 at Southern Eye Center in our advanced Ambulatory Surgery Center.


The DMEK (Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty) procedure is a partial corneal transplant that involves removing only specific layers of your cornea (the Descemet membrane and endothelium) and replacing them with healthy corneal layers from a donor eye. This advanced procedure is ideal for patients who don’t need a full cornea transplant.

Full-Thickness Transplant

A full-thickness cornea transplant, also called a Penetrating Keratoplasty (PK), a full circular portion of your cornea is removed and replaced with a donor cornea of the same size. A PK procedure may be necessary if all the layers of your cornea are damaged or diseased.