Corneal transplants are quite common, where nearly 10 million people underwent some form of corneal transplant this year. The most common form of corneal transplant performed is a partial transplant, where a corneal specialist can help treat patients with irregular corneas, cornea dystrophies, or eye disease and help them regain their vision.
However, even with the most advanced technology available, corneal transplant patients will require the use of a specialty contact lens like a scleral lens.
What is a corneal transplant?
In brief, your eye surgeon will remove diseased or damaged tissue in order to replace it with a healthy, donated corneal graft. Just like all organ transplants, tissues for the transplant come from an organ donor (through a local eye bank). This procedure can be done in a variety of ways, and it’s up to your eye surgeon to determine which method is best for your case. The amount of corneal tissue that must be removed is the main deciding factor.
What is the success rate of corneal transplants?
- Here are a few interesting facts for you:
- The first human corneal graft was performed way back in 1905.
- Nowadays, nearly 200,000 corneal transplants are performed yearly worldwide.
- The cornea is the most commonly transplanted tissue in the human body.
This info should give you some reassurance about the widespread success of this procedure!
According to a 2017 article in the Journal of Ophthalmic & Vision Research, success rates are very high – about 90% survival of the transplant after one year, and 55% after 15 years.
Will I need eyeglasses or contact lenses after a corneal transplant?
Vision correction with contact lenses or glasses is often required after a corneal transplant. In general, rigid gas permeable (GP) contacts are most effective at addressing the large amounts of astigmatism that are common after a corneal procedure, and scleral GP lens designs are very effective for many of our Old Bridge patients. Scleral contact lenses mask any corneal surface irregularities well, and wearers attest that they are very comfortable.
How do scleral lenses help?
Scleral lenses offer a number of benefits to people who had corneal transplants. For starters, they vault entirely over your cornea and rest on the whites of your eyes (called the sclera). So no contact is made with your sensitive and fragile cornea. Also, due to their shape, they create a pocket of fluid between the lens and your eye’s surface. This buffer zone of tears can help protect your corneal tissue from any damage, as well as form a smooth surface for clear vision.
Did you have a corneal transplant? Ask our eye doctor in Old Bridge, NJ about scleral lenses for ultra-comfortable and crisp vision following the procedure.