Corneal Transplant

"The Clinica has a long experience in this treatment. In addition, we have one of the longest follow-ups of patients treated by corneal transplant with stem cells".

DR. JAVIER MORENO MONTAÑÉS
SPECIALIST. OPHTHALMOLOGY DEPARTMENT

Corneal transplant or keratoplasty is a surgical technique that consists of replacing damaged tissue with that of a healthy donor. It allows to recover the transparency of the eye and, with it, the visual function.

The cornea is a transparent and curved tissue located in the front part of the eye, which acts as a lens to focus the images of the retina.

As it is located outside, it often suffers injuries caused by external agents, such as trauma or infections that damage its transparency and affect vision.

Imagen del icono de la consulta de Segunda Opinión. Clínica Universidad de Navarra

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When is a corneal transplant indicated?

The cornea transplant or keratoplasty is performed to achieve a transparent cornea, which is functional and guarantees vision.

It is indicated in patients, fundamentally, with keratoconus or patients who have suffered a trauma that has damaged all or part of the cornea.

Most frequent indications of this treatment:

  • Limbic insufficiency.
  • Keratoconus (thinning of the cornea).
  • Scars or serious eye infections.

Miguel explains how his vision recovered after being treated with a stem cell corneal transplant (only in spanish).

Do you have any of these diseases?

You may need a corneal transplant

Trasplante lamelar de córnea

EN MADRID

El trasplante lamelar de córnea es una cirugía mínimamente invasiva que consiste en sustituir únicamente las capas afectadas manteniendo el resto del tejido sano.

Supone un gran avance con respecto al trasplante convencional que supone reemplazar la córnea completa.

Menor riesgo de complicaciones y tasa de rechazo, y mejor calidad de vida son algunas de las ventajas de los trasplantes de córnea mínimamente invasivos.

Indicaciones más frecuentes del trasplante lamelar de córnea

  • Distrofia endotelial de Fuchs.
  • Queratocono.
  • Leucoma herpético.
  • Queratopatía bullosa.
  • Leucoma por acanthamoeba.
  • Leucoma bacteriano.
  • Leucoma traumático.
  • Distrofia estromal.
  • Distrofia polimorfa posterior.
  • Edema corneal por lente de cámara anterior.


“Entre las principales ventajas este tipo de trasplante destacan el menor riesgo de complicaciones y la menor tasa de rechazo, así como una mejora drástica en la calidad de vida”.

DR. MIGUEL NAVEIRAS
Departamento de Oftalmología. Madrid

DMEK

Con un tiempo de ingreso de un día, esta técnica está recomendada para pacientes afectados por distrofia endotelial de Fuchs o queratopatía bullosa.

Para llevarlo a cabo, se extraen dos partes unidas: la posterior (el endotelio dañado) y su membrana de soporte (Descemet), eliminando únicamente el tejido celular enfermo.

Estos trasplantes suelen durar entre dos y tres horas (dependiendo del caso, se utiliza anestesia general o sedación, pero el paciente siempre está dormido). 

DALK

Con un tiempo de ingreso de un día, esta técnica especialmente indicada para pacientes con leucoma o queratocono severo (adelgazamiento de la córnea).

Para realizarlo, se extraen las capas frontales de la córnea (estroma y epitelio) y se respeta la capa más interna (el endotelio).

Finalmente, se sutura con puntos simples que apenas pueden percibirse.

Durante la primera semana, el paciente suele permanecer tumbado boca arriba para facilitar la adhesión del trasplante, realizándose el proceso desde el propio domicilio. Dos semanas después, el paciente puede hacer vida normal.

En los seis meses posteriores habrá recuperado todo su potencial visual en caso de ser tratado con DMEK, y con el paso de un año en el caso de utilizar DALK.

Learn more about corneal transplantation

Most patients do not suffer pain in the operated eye, although some discomfort may occur. The eye of the transplanted cornea requires treatment with eye drops and, occasionally, general treatment. It may even need immunosuppressive medication. The visual recovery is progressive.

The postoperative follow-up lasts several months and a careful control is necessary on the part of the professionals who take care of him to avoid the complications in the long term.

The patient may require optical correction -glasses or contact lenses- to achieve the best possible vision.

Keratoplasty can be performed at the same time as cataract or glaucoma surgery. However, in these cases visual recovery is more complicated.

Where do we do it?

IN NAVARRA AND MADRID

The Department of Ophthalmology
of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Equipped with the latest technology, the Department of Ophthalmology has the necessary equipment, both technical and human, to offer comprehensive and specific assistance to each patient.

We are one of the few centers that have a microsurgery laboratory for the improvement of clinical practice.

Organized in specialized units

  • Cornea and eye surface
  • Retina
  • General Ophthalmology
  • Refraction defects
  • Oculoplastic
  • Pediatric ophthalmology
Imagen de la fachada de consultas de la sede en Pamplona de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Why at the Clinica?

  • More than 25 years of experience.
  • Experts in the diagnosis and treatment of ocular pathologies.
  • With the security and guarantee of a prestigious hospital.

Safer than ever to continue taking care of you

We update safety protocols weekly with the latest scientific evidence and the knowledge of the best international centers with which we collaborate.