Cornea transplant surgery

Tower Clock Eye Center performs cornea transplant surgery (keratoplasty) for patients with damaged corneas, the clear window-like front part of the eye. Transplants are done to replace tissue because of several corneal conditions including:

  • Advanced keratoconus
  • Fuch’s dystrophy
  • Surgical complications
  • Eye injury
  • Corneal swelling
  • Cornea ulcers

In surgery, your doctor will replace the damaged tissue with new tissue from a donor source. The new tissue will better allow light to pass through the eye and improve vision.

Types of cornea transplant Surgery

Among the cornea transplant procedures Tower Clock Eye Center offers are:

  • DMEK, or Descemet’s membrane endothelial keratoplasty, is a newer procedure where the surgeon removes and replaces the endothelium and Descemet’s membrane (no stroma) from a donor source.

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  • DSEK, or Descemet’s stripping endothelial keratoplasty, is a common procedure where the surgeon replaces the endothelium and the Descemet’s membrane with donor endothelium and Descemet’s membrane and stroma still attached.

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  • PKP, or penetrating keratoplasty, replaces all layers in the cornea through surgery. During PKP new tissue is sewn into place. Often performed on the most damaged eyes, it has the longest healing times.

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Day of surgery

Cornea transplant surgeries are outpatient procedures that take up to an hour to complete, depending on the complexity of the case. Patients are given medications to relax them and numb their eyes. During surgery your surgeon will perform the transplant while looking through a microscope.


Since the cornea doesn’t receive blood, it heals slowly and must remain protected beyond surgery. The time needed for full recovery following a procedure vary but can take 6 months to a year. Vision slowly improves. Patients are prescribed eye drops to help the eye heal and prevent infection. The eye must be protected at all times. For DMEK and DSEK patients, they’ll need to lay on their backs to allow the tiny gas bubble in the eye help place the new tissue for several days.

Our team works with each patient to determine the best surgical procedure for a successful outcome. Our goal is to protect and restore vision. To schedule your appointment, please call 920 499-3102.

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