Corneal transplant postoperative

El cornea transplant It is a surgery that, thanks to its good results, is being performed more and more frequently. Despite this, although it is not a surgery with significant risks when performed in a specialized center, after it it is important to follow a series of indications to enjoy a successful postoperative.

Corneal transplant postoperative

El cornea transplant It is a surgery that, thanks to its good results, is being performed more and more frequently. Despite this, although it is not a surgery with significant risks when performed in a specialized center, after it it is important to follow a series of indications to enjoy a successful postoperative.

What is corneal transplant?

Through corneal transplantation, also called keratoplasty, the altered corneal tissue is replaced by a healthy one from a donor. This intervention is performed in cases of irreversible alteration of the cornea.

Techniques to perform corneal transplantation

There are the following surgical options to address corneal transplantation:

Penetrating cornea transplant

Generally, when the cornea suffers an injury that destroys all its layers, it irreversibly loses its transparency.

In these cases it is necessary to carry out a complete corneal transplant, that is, a penetrating transplant, which usually has a diameter of between 8 mm where we will place a cornea with a diameter of 8,5 mm. Generally, the diameter of a person's cornea is about 12 mm.

postoperative corneal transplant

El penetrating corneal transplant it is the only valid surgery when corneal pathology affects all layers thereof.

Lamellar cornea transplant

With the technique of lamellar cornea transplant (also know as selective corneal transplant), only the corneal layer that is affected is transplanted. In turn, it can be of different types depending on where the injury is:

Lamellar anterior

This technique is used to transplant the previous layers of the cornea, and depending on the depth in which the lesions are located, the following surgeries can be performed:

  • Superficial anterior lamellar (SALK).
  • Deep anterior lamellar (DALK).

Posterior lamellar or endothelial

El endothelial corneal transplant consists replace the posterior layers of the cornea: the endothelium and / or Descemet, through the following techniques:

  • DMEK: Only the corneal endothelium is transplanted.
  • DSAEK: The endothelium and Descemet's membrane are transplanted.

Corneal transplant postoperative

After corneal transplant surgery it is necessary to perform a personalized follow-up of the patient over the months following the intervention until the final discharge of the patient. Although the recovery is not painful, it can be a bit annoying, like any postoperative.

After corneal transplant surgery, it is normal for vision to return a little while. During the first days after the intervention the patient usually recovers between a 20% and 30% vision and the rest vary substantially depending on the cause of the corneal transplant and the surgical technique used. In the most extreme cases vision can take up to a year to recover after surgery

During the postoperative period, you must have special caution with physical exertion, exercise, or weight lifting as well as visual efforts considerable, especially with the excessive use of screens

Usually, we do not cover our eyes after the operation and, although the recovery is progressive, after the first week already activities can be carried out allow the patient to be self-sufficient.

As in the rest of the transplants, the donor tissue may present a rechazo, especially when the endothelium is transplanted, both in penetrating keratoplasties and posterior lamellar ones (DMEK and DASEK). The signs most common that induce thinking that a rejection has been caused are:

  • Eye redness.
  • Pain.
  • Worsening vision.

If this occurs, go urgently to the ophthalmologist, even though several years have passed after the surgery. 

In general terms, during the time of absence due to a cornea transplant it is essential strictly follow the instructions Regarding postoperative treatment, which usually consists of instillation of drops and/or oral medication.

Let us not forget that, although the final results are usually positive, the possibility that the implant will be rejected and the patient will have to be re-operated with a new transplant cannot be ruled out.

Risks during the postoperative period of a corneal transplant

Although corneal transplantation is a very safe surgery, like any operation may present some complications:

  • Infection in the eye.
  • Rejection transplant.
  • Increased intraocular pressure.
  • Astigmatism post surgical.
  • Edema or epithelial defect of the transplanted cornea.

Tips at home during the postoperative period of keratoplasty

After corneal transplantation it is important follow the following guidelines:

  • Do not touch or rub the eye.
  • In case of having undergone a penetrating corneal transplant, the patch may possibly be removed the next morning after the operation, but it is important wearing an eye shield to sleep in order to protect the cornea from injury. During the day it is recommended wear sunglasses to protect the eye.
  • If you have had a lamellar cornea transplant, maybe you don't need a protector but yes wear sunglasses during the day.
  • 24 hours after corneal operation it is important to rest. In this category driving, using machinery, drinking alcohol is not recommended.
  • Act quickly. limiting activities that pose a risk of falling or that may cause increased pressure in the eye, like exercising (even moderately), climbing stairs, or lifting weights.
  • It is important protect eyes from sand and dust of the environment.
  • Should be strictly follow the instructions given by the ophthalmologist regarding eye drops to be administered after the operation.
  • Regarding the hygiene regime showering is allowed but without rubbing eyes nor youampI don't like to lather my face.

In which cases to call the doctor

It is important seek medical assistance if any of the following symptoms appear:

  • Pain in the eye.
  • Sensitivity to light.
  • Decrease in vision
  • Flashes of light or flies ruffles in the eye.
  • Redness in the eye.

Recovery time after corneal transplant

Recovery after a keratoplasty is slow. There are many patients who the day after the operation notice some improvements, but the definitive results can take up to a year to complete. However, this aspect it depends on the type of transplant performed and the pathology that caused it:

  • If it is a penetrating corneal transplant, the first healing phase may take a few three weeks, and the entire recovery process would take place during one year.
  • In the case of lamellar cornea transplant recovery is usually faster, usually with great improvements between four and six weeks after the operation.
Summary
How is the corneal transplant postoperative period? We explain it to you!
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How is the corneal transplant postoperative period? We explain it to you!
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Through corneal transplantation, also called keratoplasty, the altered corneal tissue is replaced with healthy one from a donor.
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Área Oftalmológica Avanzada
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