Fequently Asked Questions
• What is the cornea?
The cornea is the clear surface at the front of the eye. It is the main focusing element of the eye. Should the cornea become cloudy from disease, injury, infection or any other cause, vision will be dramatically reduced.
• What is a corneal transplant?
A corneal transplant is the surgical procedure which replaces a disk-shaped segment of an impaired cornea with a similarly shaped piece of a healthy donor cornea. More than 90 percent of corneal transplant operations successfully restore the corneal recipient's vision.
• How prevalent is corneal transplantation?
Corneal transplants are the most frequently performed human transplant procedure. In 1995, there were more corneal transplants than all organ transplants combined.
• Can I benefit from a corneal transplant?
People needing transplants are those whose vision is limited due to a damaged or diseased cornea. Other causes of vision impairment such as a cataract or a retinal disease cannot benefit from this procedure.
• Will my natural eye colour change after surgery?
No. The iris (the coloured part of the eye) isn't affected by a corneal transplant
• Will my scheduled corneal transplant be delayed?
Scheduling delays may occur due to a shortage of donated corneas.
• Is the corneal transplant procedure safe ?
Like other surgical procedures, complications may occur following a corneal transplant. Your ophthalmologist will go over the risks with you.
• What can I expect after the surgery?
Eyedrops and ointments are used to help the cornea heal. It's important to follow the medication schedule exactly as instructed.
For the first few days after surgery, eye discomfort such as light sensitivity, tearing, aching, or redness are common. Do not rub or touch the eye. Avoid any activity that will increase the pressure in the head and eye like heavy lifting and positioning the head below your waist. Do not get water into the eye. Avoid direct blows to the eye.
It is usually possible to return to work after a week or two. In about a month, it's possible to resume most of one's pre-surgery routines. Because the cornea heals slowly, full improvement in vision may take a year or more.
• Am I too old/young to be an eye donor?
No. There is generally a use for eyes of any age. Give the eye bank a chance to use your eyes for research/transplantation.
• Will eye donation affect the appearance of the donor?
No. Great care is taken to preserve the appearance of the donor. No one will be able to see that anything has been done. Families may proceed with funeral arrangements, including a viewing if so desired.
• Wear glasses. Can I donate my eyes?
Yes. Even totally blind people can donate their eyes because there is no relationship between poor eyesight and eye donorship. But the cornea should be clear.
• Is the whole eye transplanted?
No. Only the cornea may be transplanted. The white portion of the eye is the sclera. It may be preserved and used in some types of surgery, especially as a bandage on burned or damaged eyes or to pad artificial eyes to prevent chafing and irritation. The preserved sclera is not living tissue. Other parts of the eye may be used by researchers to learn more about the cause, treatment, and prevention of eye disease and problems.
• What does an eye bank do?
An eye bank is a non-profit organization which obtains, medically evaluates, processes, and distributes eyes donated by caring individuals for use in corneal transplantation, research, and education.