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Question:
Is there a reason eye specialists wait so long to do a cornea transplant in a person with Fuchs' disease (a condition that harms the inner layer of the cornea)?

Answer:
A corneal transplant is used as a last resort to treat patients with Fuchs' endothelial dystrophy. Full thickness corneal transplants, or penetrating keratoplasty (PK), and partial thickness corneal transplants, or Descemet's Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK), are the primary surgical options for treating this condition. Corneal transplantation has drawbacks including lengthy recovery time, increased infection risk, and possibility of transplant rejection. Patients need to be monitored very closely and have their eyedrops constantly optimized to care for the transplant. In addition, undergoing any type of surgery exposes a patient to the risks of anesthesia. As a result, corneal transplants are reserved for patients with severe Fuchs' endothelial dystrophy where the benefits outweigh risks as compared to medical management.

Answered by: Omar R. Chaudhary, MD Dr. Omar R. Chaudhary

Categories: Eye Diseases, Eye Surgery

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Answered: Mar 30, 2014

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