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Corneal Transplants

Keratoconus diagram

Keratoplasty, or corneal transplantation, is performed when the curvature of the cornea (the transparent covering on the eye’s anterior wall) is too steep or too flat to be treated with other methods, when extensive damage has occurred due to injury or disease, or when a tumor is present. Traditional keratoplasty is a procedure that removes and replaces the cornea with donor tissue. In recent years, less invasive procedures, which remove only selected portions of corneal tissue, have also been perfected.

Reasons For Keratoplasty

The most common reason for performing a keratoplasty is to improve diminished vision. More rarely, the surgery is performed to treat a chronic corneal infection. In extremely rare cases, the operation is performed for cosmetic reasons, when corneal scars have affected the appearance of the eye.

Other conditions that may require a corneal transplantation include:

  • Corneal scarring
  • Keratoconus
  • Inherited corneal disorders, like Fuchs’ dystrophy
  • Infections of the eye
  • External tumor or pterygia
  • Irreversible cornea edema
  • Corneal ulceration or erosion
  • Corneal thinning or perforation

Types Of Keratoplasty Procedures

Keratoplasty is a relatively low-risk surgical procedure. It is the most common type of transplant surgery currently performed and has the highest rate of success. There are several different corneal transplant methods available to help restore vision in patients with corneal problems.

Penetrating Keratoplasty

Penetrating keratoplasty is the traditional method used for corneal transplantation where the central two-thirds of the damaged cornea is surgically removed and replaced with a healthy cornea from a human donor.

Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty

Deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty, also known as DALK, removes only the outermost layers of the cornea, while preserving the healthy, well-functioning inner layers, known as Descemet’s membrane and the endothelium. New laser technology used in a DALK procedure reduces the likelihood of scarring or irregularities in shape that might impair vision.

Endothelial Keratoplasty

Endothelial keratoplasty, of which there are several types (DSAEK, DSEK and DMEK), is a surgical procedure that removes the abnormal inner lining of the cornea, known as the endothelium. Endothelial keratoplasty requires much smaller incisions than a penetrating keratoplasty, resulting in fewer risks and a shorter recovery time.

The Keratoplasty Procedure

Corneal transplants are usually performed with patients under local anesthesia. While there is some chance of graft rejection or the failure of donor tissue to attach properly to the patient’s own tissue, in the less invasive procedures, this risk is greatly reduced. In these less invasive, shorter surgeries, there is also less scarring and a shorter recovery period.

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Our Locations

The Marion Eye Clinic

OFFICE HOURS:

Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Location:

40 E. Medical Court
Marion, NC 28752
Phone: (828) 652-1000 • Fax: (828) 652-7170

After Hours Emergency Number:

(800) 222-3335
This is the after hours emergency number for Morganton Eye. Please follow the prompts to contact our doctor on call.

Morganton Eye Physicians, PA & Surgery Center

OFFICE HOURS:

Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Saturday 8:00 am to 12:00 noon
Weekend hours are subject to change. Please call to confirm hours of operation.

Location:

335 East Parker Road
Morganton, NC 28655
Phone: (828) 433-1000 • Fax: (828) 433-6274

After Hours Emergency Number:

(800) 222-3335
This is the after hours emergency number for Morganton Eye. Please follow the prompts to contact our doctor on call.

The Forest City Eye Clinic

OFFICE HOURS:

Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Location:

640 Oak Street
Forest City, NC 28043
Phone: (828) 245-5550 • Fax: (828) 245-0551

After Hours Emergency Number:

(800) 222-3335
This is the after hours emergency number for Morganton Eye. Please follow the prompts to contact our doctor on call.

The Cleveland Eye Clinic & Eye Surgery Center

OFFICE HOURS:

Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Location:

1622 East Marion Street
Shelby, NC 28150
Phone: (704) 482-2020 • Fax: (704) 482-7707

After Hours Emergency Number:

(800) 222-3335
This is the after hours emergency number for Morganton Eye. Please follow the prompts to contact our doctor on call.

The Rutherford College Eye Clinic

OFFICE HOURS:

Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm (Closed from 12-1 for lunch)
Hours subject to change. Please call to confirm hours of operation.

Location:

831 Malcolm Boulevard
Rutherford College, NC 28671
Phone: (828) 874-1000 • Fax: (828) 874-4142

After Hours Emergency Number:

(800) 222-3335
This is the after hours emergency number for Morganton Eye. Please follow the prompts to contact our doctor on call.

Surgery Center of Morganton Eye Physicians

OFFICE HOURS:

Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

Location:

335 E. Parker Rd
Morganton, NC 28655
Phone: (828) 433-1000

After Hours Emergency Number:

(800) 222-3335
This is the after hours emergency number for Morganton Eye. Please follow the prompts to contact our doctor on call.

Eye Surgery Center of Shelby

OFFICE HOURS:

Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

Location:

1622 E Marion St
Shelby NC 28150
Phone: (704) 482-2020

After Hours Emergency Number:

(800) 222-3335
This is the after hours emergency number for Morganton Eye. Please follow the prompts to contact our doctor on call.