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Demystifying corneal transplantations

Prof Rasik Vajpayee


The cornea is a curved, clear layer that lines the front of the eye – it can be thought of as the eye’s ‘windscreen’. A number of conditions can affect the cornea (e.g. keratoconus, Fuchs’ dystrophy, keratitis, ocular herpes) and impair vision. If other available treatment options do not work or have stopped working, a corneal transplant may be recommended to restore sight. Although corneal transplantation is the most frequently performed transplant procedure in the world, there are still a lot of misconceptions about it that I’d like to address.

Advances in the field of corneal medicine mean that alternative treatments may soon be possible, bypassing the need for corneal transplantation altogether. For example, we might soon be able to fix some patients using the iFix Pen, a novel device that my colleague Professor Gerard Sutton is collaborating on with a number of others. The iFix Pen delivers a bio-ink formulation to injured corneas to promote healing and prevent infection. Corneal tissue used in transplantations is generously donated by people who have opted to be donors.

FAQs about eye tissue donation

Register to be an organ donor

All medical and surgical procedures have potential complications – check with your ophthalmologist before proceeding.

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