The cornea is the clear covering of the front of the eye which covers the iris, pupil and anterior chamber. The cornea bends or refracts light rays as they enter the eye. For clear vision to occur, the cornea must have the correct shape and clarity to focus incoming light rays precisely on the retina at the back of the eye. When the cornea becomes cloudy or misshapen from injury, infection or disease, transplantation may be recommended to replace it.
There are multiple types of corneal transplant procedures. Corneal grafting in its’ entirety is referred to as penetrating keratoplasty, while partial grafting can be referred to as lamellar keratoplasty or endothelial keratoplasty. Corneal transplants are usually performed with local anesthesia so there is no pain. During the procedure, the cornea is replaced with one from a human donor. The new cornea carries little risk of rejection and can last for many years.
Corneal transplant is one of the most common transplant procedures performed today.