If the cornea becomes cloudy, swollen, scarred, injured, infected, or painful, it can sometimes be treated with eye drops and other medications. Sometimes, a corneal transplant may be needed. The operation would remove and replace it with corneal tissue from someone who has died and donated their eye. This can be a full-thickness or partial-thickness transplant depending on the patient. Partial thickness transplants of the front or back of the cornea can be done. If there are other eye problems, Dr. Ambati will work with a team of retina, glaucoma or eyelid specialists at the Pacific Clear Vision Institute in Eugene.


During transplants, we generally place a shot behind the eye to numb the eye and make sure that the eye does not move. The transplant surgery can take anywhere from half an hour to 2.5 hrs. This is an outpatient surgery that requires a fairly long recovery time and eyedrops and frequent follow-up for at least a year. This requires significant commitment of time and taking medications on the part of the patient. Rejection, although uncommon, could occur even years later, so long-term follow-up is needed. Clinical trials for minimizing cornea transplant rejection and corneal blood vessel formation (which leads to rejection) are available at Pacific Clear Vision Institute in Eugene.