Cornea Transplant (Penetrating Keratoplasty; PK)


This procedure repairs a damaged cornea. The cornea is the clear, outer surface of the eye that lets light enter the pupil. During this surgery, a portion of your damaged cornea is replaced with healthy corneal tissue taken from a donor.


In preparation for the procedure, you are given general or local anesthesia. Your eyelids are held open with a device called a "lid speculum." The doctor measures your cornea and prepares a section of graft tissue, called a "button."


The doctor uses a cutting device or a laser to remove a disc of tissue from the center of your cornea. The donor button is positioned on your eye. The doctor carefully attaches it to your eye with fine sutures.

End of Procedure and Aftercare

When the procedure is complete, a plastic shield is placed over your eye to protect the new cornea. After a short period of monitoring, you will be allowed to go home. Follow your doctor's instructions to care for your eye as it heals. You will need to return for followup visits. The sutures may need to remain in place for a year or more after the procedure.