J. Kenneth Wallace, M.D.

Allan J. Kelley, M.D.





A cornea transplant or graft replaces damaged tissue on the eye's clear surface (cornea) with healthy corneal tissue donated to a local eye bank.  An unhealthy cornea affects your vision by scattering or distorting light and causing glare and blurred vision.  A corneal transplant may be necessary to restore your functional vision.

Corneal trnasplants are performed routinely.  In fact, of all tissue transplants, the most successful is a corneal transplant.  More than 40,000 cornea transplants are performed in the United States each year, according to the Eye Bank Association of America 2008 Statistical Report.

While most people undergoing a cornea transplant can expect a good outcome, graft rejection can occur.  However, medical management of graft rejection often can lead to healthy graft survival.

A new version of corneal transplant, DSAEK ( Descemet's Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty) also has been introduced as a new surgical method that uses only a very thin portion of the cornea for transplant.  DSAEK is currently recognized as the "state-of-the-art" in the endothelial keratoplasty field.  DSAEK is a form of corneal transplantation in which only the diseased or damaged endothelial cell lining is replaced with a new endothelial cell lining harvested from a donor cornea.  There is recovery of functional vision within several weeks to a few months  (rather than 12-18 months with full-thickness cornea transplantation) and  the procedure is safer and less invasive.