Corneal Diseases


Corneal transplant surgery is performed to replace a diseased cornea with a new one. Corneal transplants are among the most common and successful organ transplant operations performed, with over 46,000 being performed in 2011 in the U.S. alone. According to the Eye Bank of America, “over 95% of all corneal transplant operations successfully restore the corneal recipient’s vision.”

The doctors at Pacific Eye Specialists have extensive training in corneal transplant surgery by some of the most famous eye surgeons in the world.

The Cornea Explained

Much like the crystal of a watch, the cornea is the clear front window of the eye. In addition to allowing light to enter the eye, the cornea is responsible for two thirds of the focusing power of the eye (the lens does the remaining one third).


Corneal Diseases

Many diseases of the cornea can impair vision. These include:

  • Congenital diseases
  • Scars from infection or trauma
  • Degenerative diseases
  • Dystrophies
  • Corneal swelling from prior eye surgery

All of these diseases cause the cornea to lose its clarity. In many cases, there are no medications, glasses or contact lenses that can improve the clarity of the cornea and provide good vision so the only option for visual rehabilitation is a corneal transplant.

Our doctors are some of the few in the Bay Area certified for fitting the new Synergeyes bifocal contact lens, an exciting new option to improve the vision and comfort of bifocal wearers. For keratoconus patients, new Synergeyes keratoconus designs offer patients a level of comfort never before available.

Corneal Transplant Rejection

The risk of organ rejection after corneal transplantation is much less than for other transplanted organs. Medications are used to suppress the body's immune system and prevent corneal transplant rejection. At any point after surgery, a patient may experience corneal transplant rejection and require medical treatment to stop the rejection. In some cases, the corneal transplant can completely reject, again reducing vision, requiring another corneal transplant surgery.

Eye banks have existed in the U.S. since 1946. Strict guidelines have been established by the Eye Bank Association of America to ensure that only corneal tissue of the highest quality is used for corneal transplant surgery. Not only do these guidelines include structural requirements, but also an intensive evaluation for possible infections and other eye diseases.

If you or a loved one is suffering from a diseased cornea, please contact us today to schedule a Consultation.