Corneal Transplant Surgery

What is a corneal transplant?

The cornea is the transparent window at the front of the eye, and it can become scarred by injury or turn cloudy due to disease, when the rest of the eye remains quite healthy. Just like the front lens of camera becoming cloudy, the vision is then blurred. A corneal transplant (also called a corneal graft or keratoplasty), is an operation to replace this cloudy cornea with a clear one.

More information links

Download link for PK and DALK
Download link for Endothelial keratoplasty

corneal transplant surgery

Benefits for you

The doctor will explain the exact diagnosis, but the usual benefit for this operation is improvement in your vision. For some people however, the operation may be advised to treat chronic pain in the eye, even if there is little chance of gaining improvement in sight. It is important that you understand the reason the operation is recommended in your case, and what it is expected to achieve.

Am I Eligible?

Your eye doctor might recommend a corneal transplant if you have vision problems due to keratoconus or another condition that causes your cornea to become thinner. You might also need a transplant if one or both corneas have scars due to previous injuries or infections. Corneal transplants might also be recommended if you have vision loss due to cloudy corneas caused by Fuchs’ dystrophy or a similar condition.

Corneal transplants can help restore your vision, although you might need to use corrective lenses afterwards. This surgical procedure can also help ease pain associated with eye diseases and other conditions that affect the cornea. Your eye doctor might also recommend this procedure if you have vision loss or if you are in considerable pain.


The procedure approximately takes an hour. Usually performed as a day case but rarely you may need to stay in hospital. You can usually come into hospital on the day of surgery, but need to be seen about a week beforehand for a pre-operative check.

Your Journey

This begins from the Donor. Your cornea will have come from someone who has expressed a wish that their corneas be used to help someone else to see, after their death. People who offer their organs in this way are called donors, and transplant operations would be impossible without their generosity. The donor cornea will have been thoroughly tested and kept in an Eye Bank for a period, before being sent to the hospital where the operation is carried out. The Eye Bank ensures that the cornea is in good condition, and checks are performed to ensure that it is free of transmissible infection.

Immediately after the operation, your eye will be covered with a protective pad and shield. This is removed the following day. There may be some soreness in the eye, but it is seldom severe, and can be expected to settle quite quickly.
You will need to use eye drops several times a day for the first few weeks, and these will gradually be reduced over the next few months. NEVER stop your eye drops without first consulting your ophthalmologist – this is very important.
You will normally be able to return to work within a month, but this will depend on the work you do, and should be discussed with your consultant.

Your vision will be quite blurred initially. The quality of the vision usually improves within weeks of the surgery, but improvement is rather slow. It is important to understand that your vision will go on improving over a period of many months after the surgery. This is because the cornea takes a long time to heal.


Initially you will be seen frequently in the eye clinic. Most patients can expect to visit the Eye Clinic between 8 and 10 times in the first year, with gradually increasing gaps between appointments. It is very important to keep these appointments.

If you experience any problems with your eye in between your regular scheduled appointments, it is very important that you are seen promptly in the Eye Clinic. Please contact the Eye Department to arrange an urgent appointment.


Call LVCND for more information and pricing

Contact details

Derby Private Health Royal Derby Hospital Phone: 01332 785200/ 785016
Or Mr Anandan’s Secretary Sue Da Silva on 07900210191 or email

Nuffield Health Derby Hospital. 
Rykneld Road, 
DE23 4SN

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