The cornea is the transparent convex surface placed in front of the iris and has the appearance and the approximate size of a contact lens. Cornea transplantation is the surgical technique by which the patient’s cornea can be replaced with the cornea of a donor.
In the perforating corneal transplant the full thickness replacement of a central disk is carried out. The surgery is generally performed under local anesthesia. The post-transplant suture remains in place for at least one year unless particular requirements arise.
In the lamellar corneal transplant the replacement of a not full thickness central disc is preformed. The donor’s cornea is processed in order to build a lamella which has about 3⁄4 of the thickness of the starting cornea. The operation is performed under topical anesthesia. The lenticule is sutured and the suture remains in place for about three months.
Problems of rejection or bad engraftment are extremely rare in the lamellar transplantation, it is thought of as an excellent solution in the case of keratoconus or superficial corneal opacity consequent to previous infectious processes.
To date, femtosecond and excimer lasers contribute to making this surgery more accurate.