Corneal Transplantation and Eye bank
Corneal transplantation or Keratoplasty is a method of replacing the diseased Cornea (the transparent tissue forming the outer cover of the eye) with a healthy one from a donor. Corneal transplantation can be done for patients with different types of diseases of the cornea provided that all inner structures of the eye are healthy and functioning well.
What are the types of corneal transplantation?
Full thickness corneal transplantation, also known as Penetrating Keratoplasty; is the oldest and the most commonly performed surgery in which the whole of the patients’ cornea is replaced.
However, cornea specialists world over have realised that replacing the whole cornea is a wastage of precious donor tissue for diseases which involve only a part of the patient’s cornea. Hence, now we have the modern partial thickness transplant procedures, known as Lamellar Keratoplasty. In Lamellar Keratoplasty procedures, only the dieased layers of the patient’s cornea are replaced with similar healthy layer from a donor’s cornea.
This leads to faster visual recovery, lesser duration and frequency of medications post op and lesser number of follow ups and complications. It also allows the Cornea specialists to split one donor cornea into two parts and treat two potential patients /recipients thus leading to minimising the demand for donor tissues and lesser wastage.
Which corneal diseases can be treated by transplantation?
Most of the corneal diseases like non healing infections or Corneal Ulcers, swelling and cloudiness of the cornea known as Pseudophkaic or Aphakic Corneal Edema, abnormal shape of cornea like Keratoconus or Pellucid Marginal Degeneration, abnormal deposits and white scars and spots after injury or infection can be treated by transplantation. The vision recovery of the patients is good after corneal transplantation provided the inner structures of the eye are healthy and functioning well.
How can I avail a Corneal Transplantation surgery at Apollo Hospital Navi Mumbai?
Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai, is a government recognized, and Human Organ Transplant Act (HOTA) accredited Keratoplasty centre. To avail this treatment, a patient simply has to book an appointment to consult the Cornea specialist. A careful and detailed examination is carried out in the Cornea clinic and after ensuring suitability for transplantation and determining the type of transplantation, the patient is registered for transplantation. As soon as we receive information from our partner eye-banks regarding availability of a donor corneal tissue, the patient is contacted and invited to come to the hospital within a day or two to get the cornea transplanted. Our transplant coordinators constantly keep in touch with the patients and relatives to update them about the proceedings.
Do you implant artificial corneas?
Yes, we do. In some diseases the environment on the Ocular Surface (surface of the eye) is unhealthy and does not support a routine corneal transplant surgery. In all such situations, artificial cornea (Keratoprosthesis or K-Pro in short) is implanted to restore eyesight to the visually impaired patient.
Do I have to arrange for a cornea donor?
No, we at Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai along with our partner eye banks take care of this. We are in collaboration with Government recognized and HOTA accredited eye banks in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane region. The eye banks have grief counsellors who are active in the community and various hospitals. They carry out awareness and motivational activities routinely to promote Cornea donation after death. This leads to a healthy availability of donor cornea tissues at the eye banks, thus minimizing the waiting time for potential recipients.