Corneal Surgery

A surgical operation in which the affected corneal tissue is surgically removed and replaced with donor corneal tissue.


Corneal Transplant Surgery

This is a surgical operation in which the affected corneal tissue is surgically removed and replaced with donor corneal tissue from a deceased person. Depending on the condition, your surgeon may transplant the entire cornea (Penetrating Keratoplasty) or only certain layers of the cornea ; Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK), Descemet stripping automated endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK) or Descemet’s membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK). Corneal transplant surgery is a significant eye procedure, and achieving good vision after a transplantation may take some time. In Penetrating Keratoplasty and deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty, fine sutures remain in the cornea for 12-18 months following the surgery. After removal of the sutures, it is common for patients to require spectacles, contact lenses or additional surgery for best vision.


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What is the cornea?

The cornea is a clear window at the front of the eye that is responsible for majority of the focusing of the eye.

The cornea must be clear to allow light to pass into the eye and have a regular shape to focus light properly. Certain conditions can affect the transparency and/or the shape of the cornea which impacts the quality of vision.

What is a corneal transplant?

A corneal transplant, also known as a corneal graft or keratoplasty is an operation to replace damaged or diseased cornea with healthy donor tissue. It aims to improve sight, relieve pain, or treat severe infection or damage.

Reason I may need a transplant?

Your Ophthalmologist will assess if a corneal transplant is the best treatment option for you. Conditions that cause the cornea to become cloudy or change shape. This may include:

  • Fuch’s endothelial dystrophy
  • Keratoconus
  • Eye Injury
  • Eye infection
  • Clouded cornea since birth.


The recovery process varies dependent on the type of transplant. Recovery of vision is dependent on underlying disease process and how our body functions.

For penetrating keratoplasty, full recovery can take up to a year. This is because it takes time for the donor tissue to fuse with your own tissue, for the eye to heal and sutures to be removed. It’s usually possible to update glasses or a contact lens much earlier.

Regular post-operative visits will allow your specialist to monitor your progress and identify any complications.

Founder and Surgeon at Adelaide Eye Surgeons

Dr Edward Greenrod

At Adelaide Eye Surgeons, our aim is to provide all South Australians with the best care for their eyes. We are experts in proven, advanced surgical treatments utilising modern technology. We specialise in cataract, cornea, glaucoma, laser and retinal surgery."

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