Cornea Transplant Surgery: Preparation, Recovery and what to expect

Your cornea is an essential part of your eye. The cornea doesn't just protect the structures present inside your eye, it also contributes majorly to the refractive power of the eye in general. Approximately 60 to 75% of the ability to focus properly with our eyes is due to the brilliance of the human cornea. Cornea Replacement Surgery or Cornea Transplant Surgery is thus a procedure that involves the replacement of your cornea with the corneal tissue of your donor. Keep reading to find out more!

Cornea Replacement Surgery/Keratoplasty

Keratoplasty or cornea replacement surgery is a surgical procedure in which all or part of a damaged cornea is removed and replaced with healthy donor tissue. It can be employed to treat serious infections and damage, improve vision, and relieve pain. One of the most common reasons for a cornea transplant is keratoconus, a disorder that causes the cornea to change shape.

During this procedure, your surgeon will remove any diseased or damaged corneal tissue. The compromised cornea is altered with healthy corneal tissue harvested from the eye of a deceased human donor. Many people benefit from corneal transplant surgery because it restores their vision and improves their quality of life.

Why Is The Cornea Replaced?

For good vision, your cornea should be clear, smooth, and healthy. Light is not properly focused on the eye if it is disfigured, swollen, or damaged. As a result, your eyesight becomes blurry or a glare appears.

Your eye doctor may recommend a corneal transplant if your cornea cannot be treated or repaired. This procedure involves replacing the diseased cornea with a healthy cornea from a donor. A cornea transplant is typically used to restore vision to someone whose cornea has been damaged. A cornea transplant can also help with pain and other symptoms associated with corneal diseases. Ophthalmologists can also perform corneal transplant to treat a wide range of diseases such as -

  • An outwardly bulging cornea (keratoconus)
  • Fuchs' dystrophy (which is a hereditary disorder).
  • Corneal thinning or tearing
  • Scarring of the cornea caused by infection or injury
  • Corneal enlargement
  • Corneal ulcers that are resistant to medical treatment
  • Complications from previous eye surgery

How To Prepare For The Surgery

Prior to cornea transplant surgery, you will be subjected to the following procedures:

First, a comprehensive eye examination will be done. Here, your ophthalmologist will look for conditions that could result in complications after surgery.

Secondly, the dimensions of your eyes are measured. The size of the cornea of the donor is required, which will then be determined by your eye doctor.

Thirdly, a list of all supplements and medications you are currently taking will be reviewed. Some specific medications or supplements may need to be discontinued prior to or following your cornea transplant.

Lastly, other eye issues are addressed.

Unrelated eye problems, such as infection or inflammation, can reduce your chances of successfully receiving a cornea transplant. Your eye doctor will address these concerns prior to surgery.

What Can You Expect During The Surgery

The day of your cornea replacement surgery, you will be provided with either a sedative to help you sleep or a local anaesthetic to numb your eye to put you to sleep. You will not be in pain in either case. The time spent in surgery differs according to your circumstances.

What Can You Expect After The Surgery

You can anticipate the following after your cornea transplant:

  • Go get your medicine. Infection, swelling, and pain will be controlled with eye drops and, in some cases, oral medications immediately following a cornea transplant and during recovery. Immunosuppressive eye drops aid in the management of corneal rejection.
  • Put on safety glasses. While your eye heals, you can protect it with eye shields or glasses.
  • Roll onto your back. You might need to do this for a while after surgery, depending on the type of transplant, to ensure that new tissue remains in place.
  • Try not to get hurt. After your cornea transplant, plan to rest and eventually restart your usual tasks, including exercise.
  • Do not rub or put pressure of any kind on your eye. You'll need to take additional precautions to protect your eyes.
  • Return for routine checkups. You should expect to see your eye specialist on a regular basis for the first year after surgery to track your recovery and look for complications.


The vast majority of individuals who undergo a cornea transplant will see at least some improvement in their vision. The reason for your surgery, as well as your overall health, will determine your post-surgery expectations. Even after many years of your cornea transplant, complications and rejection can occur.

As a result, visit your eye doctor once a year. Medication is frequently used to treat corneal rejection. As your eye adjusts to the new cornea, your vision may initially be worse than before surgery. Your vision may not improve for several months. Book your appointment with us for efficient cornea treatment in Mauritius!