How long does the evaluation take?

Generally Dr. Ambati asks you to set aside 2 hours of the day for the evaluation. We do a complete evaluation to make sure that anyone we perform surgery on is a good candidate for the procedure, and that it would be safe and effective. This entails examining the front and back of the eye (including dilating eye drops, which can take a few hours to wear off).

What are the different types of cornea transplants, and what are they used for?

There are 4 main types:

How long is the surgery?

The first 3 types of cornea transplants above involve meticulous suturing, so can take a couple of hours to perform well. The last type (partial thickness of the back of the cornea) generally does not require suturing, so it can be accomplished generally in less than 45 minutes.

Am I awake for the procedure? Will it hurt?

We do generally have patients awake, but give medicine in the IV to help you relax and a shot behind the eye to numb the eye completely. You will not see anything during the procedure.

What should I do the rest of the day after surgery?

Take it easy. No drops are necessary. Keep the patch on and relax. If you had the 4th type of transplant (Partial thickness of the back of the cornea), we will ask you to lay as flat as you can except for going to the bathroom and eating.

How long will it take for my eye to recover?

For the first 3 weeks or so, your vision will typically be worse than before the surgery due to swelling of the cornea that takes time to resolve. Then your vision will improve (rapidly for back of the cornea transplants, more slowly (over months) for the transplants of the whole or front of the cornea (which will require suture removal over time).

When are the restrictions after surgery; when can I resume normal activities?

We ask that you not lift anything more than 20 lbs. for the first month. Don’t bend over or allow water into your eye for about a week. Wear the shield at night for a week.

Will the new cornea last forever?

This is tough to answer and really depends on the underlying condition of your eye. Some corneas do last forever, but some need to be replaced due to transplant rejection (which can occur even 20 years later) or due to simple failure of the transplant’s new cells over time (depending on the age and health of the donor tissue, the “warranty” may just run out).

Will I need glasses after the surgery?

In general most patients do need glasses or contact lenses. If someone with a transplant is interested in getting rid of glasses or contacts, they may be a candidate for PRK, laser astigmatism correction, or lens implants.

For more information about corneal transplants and what to expect, contact Dr. Ambati in Eugene.