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Corneal Conditions

Every year, more than 47,000 people in the U.S. have corneal transplants for improved vision and to reduce the pain associated with corneal damage.


Corneal Surgery

Corneal transplant is surgery to replace your damaged cornea. The cornea is the outer layer of clear tissue covering your eye. If this tissue is damaged or diseased, a corneal transplant may help you see the world more clearly and alleviate eye pain and cloudiness in your vision. You be a candidate for a corneal transplant if you have:

  • Traumatic eye injury
  • Severe eye infection
  • Damage from a previous eye surgery
  • Fuchs’ dystrophy
  • Keratoconus
  • Keratitis

Your surgeon will replace your diseased or damaged cornea with donor tissue. A corneal transplant has the highest success rate of any organ transplant. Your successful corneal transplant can restore your vision and eye health as long as the rest of your eye is healthy.

During your consultation, our team will inform you about each option available to you and select one that’s a good fit for you. 

Penetrating Keratoplasty (PKP) (or full-thickness corneal transplant)
During your full-thickness corneal transplant, the will surgeon cut the circular disk of diseased corneal tissue from your eye. The disk of donor corneal tissue is cut to the same size ad yours. Your surgeon then carefully stitches it in place with very fine sutures and gently removes them at a later date.

Descemet’s Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK)
DSAEK is a type of partial-thickness corneal transplant. This procedure treats your corneal damage on the inside surface of your cornea.

Descemet’s Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK)
DMEK also treats corneal damage on the inside surface of the cornea, however it replaces a much thinner portion than DSAEK. This is technically a more difficult surgery compared to DSAEK, however, it can give slightly better visual outcome and decreases the posiblity of rejection.

Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (ALK)
ALK is performed when the corneal disease only affects the outer layers (i.e. epithelium and stroma). During this surgery, the outer layers of the cornea are dissected from the rest of the cornea and replaced with a comparable donor cornea.