Corneal transplantation (keratoplasty) is a surgical procedure in which part of the cornea is replaced with tissue from a donor. The cornea is the transparent dome-shaped surface of the eye. It is where light enters the eye, and we owe much of our ability to see clearly to it.

A corneal transplant can restore vision, reduce pain, and improve the appearance of a damaged or diseased cornea. Most corneal transplant procedures are successful. However, the operation carries a small risk of complications, such as rejection of the donor cornea.

Why is a corneal transplant performed?

A corneal transplant is often used to restore vision, but it can also relieve pain or other signs and symptoms associated with corneal diseases.

In this way, the following problems can be solved:

  • Keratoconus – a cornea that bulges outward
  • Fuchs’ dystrophy – a hereditary condition
  • Thinning or tearing of the cornea
  • Scarring of the cornea caused by infection or injury
  • Corneal swelling
  • Corneal ulcers unresponsive to medical treatment
  • Complications caused by previous eye operations


Corneal transplantation is relatively safe. Nevertheless, it carries a particular risk of serious complications, such as:

  • Eye infection
  • Increased pressure in the eyeball (glaucoma)
  • Problems with the sutures used to secure the donor cornea
  • Rejection of the donor cornea
  • Retinal problems such as retinal detachment or swelling

Symptoms of corneal rejection

The body’s immune system can mistakenly attack the donor cornea. It is called rejection and may require medical treatment or another corneal transplant.

Before surgery

Before the operation, a thorough eye examination will be performed by an ophthalmologist, who will determine, based on the reviews, what size of donor cornea will be needed and whether there are any contraindications.

Finding the donor cornea

The corneas used in transplants come from people who have become donors. Unlike organs such as the liver and kidney, people who need a corneal transplant do not require a tissue match.

Types of transplants

The doctor will recommend the choice suitable for a specific patient.

Penetrating keratoplasty

full-thickness corneal transplantation. The surgeon removes a small disc of corneal tissue. The donor cornea is taken to size, placed in the opening, and sutured. The stitches will be released later.

Endothelial keratoplasty

These procedures remove diseased tissue from the back layers of the cornea, which protects the endothelium from injury and infection. Donor tissue replaces the removed tissue.

Anterior lamellar keratoplasty

Diseased tissue is removed from the anterior layers of the cornea, including the epithelium and stroma, but the posterior endothelial layer is left in place.

The corneal damage depth determines the procedure suitable for the patient. Superficial anterior lamellar keratoplasty replaces only the anterior layers of the cornea, leaving the healthy stroma and endothelium intact. The deep anterior lamellar transplant procedure is used when the damage extends deeper into the stroma. Healthy tissue from a donor is then attached (grafted) to replace the removed part.

Transplantation of artificial cornea

In some cases, people can also get an artificial cornea.

During the procedure

On the day of the corneal transplant, the patient will receive a sedative to help them relax and a local anesthetic to numb the eye, or general anesthesia will be given. The operation is performed on one eye at a time. The time spent in surgery varies and depends on the patient’s situation.

After the procedure

After completing the cornea transplant, the patient can expect:

Taking eye drops and sometimes oral medications immediately after a corneal transplant and during recovery will help control infection, swelling, and pain. In addition, immune-suppressing eye drops help prevent corneal rejection.

Wearing eye protection – Eyeshields or goggles protect the eyes during healing.

Caution – It is advisable to take care of yourself after the procedure, not to rub or squeeze your eye.

Frequent check-ups – During the year, it will be necessary to have the eyes checked by an ophthalmologist.

The results

Most people who undergo a corneal transplant will have at least some vision restored. What can be expected depends on the reason for the operation and the state of health.

Vision correction after surgery

Vision may initially be worse than before surgery as the eye adjusts to the new cornea. It may take several months for vision to improve and stabilize.

Important information:

We will be happy to help you and offer a solution to your problem or your dream idea!

Each client is unique and has an individual situation in the field of health or aesthetics (appearance). For this reason, after consulting about his problems and needs, our specialists will propose the most suitable solution – the type of procedure or treatment and the time schedule, in case it is necessary to undergo the procedure or treatment more than once.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact us on phone number 00421 905 928 302, via the contact form or at the email address