Myths and Facts about Cornea Transplant

Myth– Whole eye is removed and a new eye is put in its place
Fact- Whole eye transplant is not yet possible. What we transplant is only the cornea, which the front transparent part of the eye.

Myth – Eye transplant is the solution for all eye
Fact– Eye transplant is a misnomer. It is only cornea that we can transplant. Only the diseases that affect the cornea can be treated with cornea/ eye transplant. If the vision is lost due to disease of any other part of the eye such as retina, lens or vitreous; eye or cornea transplant does not help in these cases

Myth – Some use animal eyes for transplant
Fact– Only human cadaveric eyes / cornea are used for transplant. No animal eyes are used for transplant in human beings.

Myth– Most cornea transplants fail
Fact– Cornea transplant has relatively a good success rate. Compared to most other organ transplant, cornea transplant has a 5 year survival rate varying from 70-90 %, depending on the indication for surgery. For many conditions that have good prognosis the survival is as high as 95%.

Myth– One can stop drops once vision improves
Fact– Corneal graft being procured from someone else it is necessary to continue immunosuppressive drops for almost a year. The frequency of the drops will be decided by the treating doctor

Myth– Once graft rejects, one has to repeat the surgery
Fact– Often graft rejection, if picked up on time, can be reversed with aggressive immunosuppressive drops. Only if the rejection does not reverse, one may have to repeat transplant.

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