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Corneal transplant keratoconus

Corneal transplant to improve vision

Different types of contact lenses are available for the correction of keratoconus. Despite the correction of contact lenses, keratoconus can be corrected less well than myopia. In addition to glasses or contact lenses and cross-linking, there are various surgical treatments for keratoconus. When it is no longer possible to correct the eye with contact lenses and/or glasses, your treating ophthalmologist will be able to suggest a cornea transplant. You can read more about corneal transplantation for Keratoconus below.

Complete Corneal Transplant: Perforating Keratoplasty (PKP)

If the cornea has become completely cloudy, vision can only be restored by replacing the completely opaque cornea with a clear one. When the entire cornea is replaced by a clear donor tissue, this is called a perforating keratoplasty. The abbreviations for this are: ‘PK’ (Perforating Keratoplasty) or ‘PKP’ (Perforating KeratoPlastic). Because the new cornea comes from a donor, there can sometimes be some waiting time until a suitable or typed cornea becomes available; This is to limit the risk of rejection as much as possible.

Partial Corneal Transplant (DALK)

A partial cornea transplant for keratoconus is also one of the options. In the case of keratoconus, a DALK is then performed, or deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty). The central, outer part of the cornea is replaced by donor tissue over almost the entire thickness. A DALK is an effective treatment for abnormalities on the front of the cornea (epithelium, Bowmans layer, stroma) where the endothelium layer (inner layer) is still healthy. The risk of rejection is less with this type of surgery.

Transplantation of Bowman’s membrane

A new innovative method to correct and strengthen keratoconus is Bowman’s membrane transplantation. From a donor cornea, the Bowman’s membrane is additionally pushed between the weakened layers of the keratoconus cornea. Long-term effects are still unknown, as this method has only recently been used.

Good results in corneal transplantation

The success after a corneal transplant in keratoconus is high, but the recovery after surgery takes a long time. The recovery takes about a year and on average a transplanted cornea lasts fifteen to twenty years. Contact lenses also often have to be worn after the cornea transplant in the case of keratoconus in order to be able to see well enough.

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