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Corneal Transplant - Anyone Else Had One?

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Have you had one? What was the outcome? What was your experience?

In march 2004 I had a corneal transplant. My left cornea was scarred due to the chickenpox virus I contracted 11 years before. After the surgery, I had several problems over the following year, including problems with the stitches, minor pain, rejection of the cornea and improper healing. Somehow I got through all of that.

The stitches came out in may. They generally stay in for about a year. After that I had no problems. I was told that after the stitches came out, I should see a great improvement in my vision. That didn't happen. What I see is significantly better than before the surgery, but still very much out of focus. For example, I could not watch tv with that eye. I see the colours, but the image is very blurred.

That is a brief summary that brings us to last evening. I had an appointment with the doctor to see about glasses/contact lens. He told me there was nothing that could be done. A contact lens would be too thick and uncomfortable. At least you now have a back-up in case anything happens to the right eye, he said.

Thats all. I am devestated. The last year of my life has been very stressful and difficult, due to the pain and trying to protect my eye. Those are things I am going to continue to deal with forever. And it seems that it was all for nothing.

I would just like to know of someone who has gone through a corneal transplant, and if you experienced anything like this. I want to know if there is anything I can do to help restore the vision in my left eye. Anyone with any information, please help!

Thanks
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First Helper paige123
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replied July 27th, 2005
I'm just wondering where you live in ontario.
Typically a hard contact lens can be used on an irregular cornea, which I would imagine yours is.
You might consider seeking a second opinion.
If you are near the university of waterloo there are drs there that specialise in hard lenses.
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replied July 28th, 2005
I live north of toronto.
I understand from my doctor that a hard contact is the only type I would be able to use (because of the new cornea).
But when he did the vision tests, he said the contact would be too thick and too uncomfortable to wear.
Thanks for the input though, I will search around for another opinion.
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replied July 31st, 2005
Chris 13 Years Old Please Read!
My name is chris I am 13 years old and I had surgery.. The cornea transplant suffering with the desease keratoconus since the forth grade june 1st 05 4 years later I had the transplant taking 2 weeks off from school and now july 31st I did not have any difficulty in recovering there was a litle pain but not much,much like the pain when you put the hard contact lense in
now I was nervase in getting the sergury any body will but me as a kid thinking being blind cannot watch tv or play baseball got me scared but my docter was very sure and said that itll be highly doughted that you will go blind
i now see so much better and its only been 2 months I still cannot play sports and have to be careful about the eye but the most painfullest thing the docter said was I could reject it any day forever but I come to realize when it happens if it happens I will be ok
ive been thinking about finding a forum to help people and kids about this I hope I did in a few months I will be getting the other eye done and will try to inform you all on how that will work out
i might be 13 but experianced on all of this the surgery the hard lense ive done it all!!
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Users who thank magic718 for this post: Phee148 

replied September 2nd, 2005
I had a cornea transplant when I was about 5 years old. It's already been 15 years since I had the surgery. I've never had any problems with it. I was completely blind from one eye, so I can actually see now. My vision isn't perfect, but I wear a contact on that eye. It's kind of weird just wearing one. It's a combination of a hard contact lens and a soft contact lens. It's really expensive, but it's worth it.
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replied September 2nd, 2005
Chris--
Yea thats confortible to hear about im now worried tho about rejecting
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replied December 20th, 2005
Corneal Transplant
I had my corneal transplant july 27th and i'm not able to see yet. Ive had stitches taken out about 5. I do have pain on and off. I can't see very well in bright lights outside. But mine was due to cataract removal and a infection set in.I have several different surgerys and still can't see. Maybe one day we will wake up and see again! I haven't returned back to work it is hard to do anyting with one eye.
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replied February 12th, 2009
cornea transplant
Its been a over a year since i got a bad infection in my eye , causing my cornea to be completely opage and i couldn't see anything, but yellow light. i waited a year before i did the surgery so that the infection wil get time to settle. i did my surgey on jan 5th 2008,when the bandage was removed, just seeing the light and furnitures around me gived me so much hope, even though it was blurry and distored. After the surgery i didnt feel any pain, had light sensetivety for a few days.Its been 5 weeks , my vision is still blurry, and distored, but if i slightly open my eye(like if im peeping), i see clear as my other eye, i dont know why its like that,but when i do this i see crisp, no blur, no distortion ,and no double vision.So i guess i can say thatmy vision is improving, day after surgery my vision was 20/150, pretty rotten ,and 3 weeks later it was 20/70, a big improvement , my next appoint is in 2 months i will post , Hang in there !!!
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replied August 12th, 2009
sixteen year old has had cornea transplant
Hello,
My name is Phoebe and I am sixteen. In feb this year I had a cornea transplant due to having keratoconus (which I got from my dad, silly genetics). I was really looking forward to the operation and when the day came along, I was very nervous (although I had known about the operation for a year, so I shouldnt have been that nervous). Luckily I had such a great surgeon who was there to answer all my silly questions I had going through my mind. I had in total seventeen stitches. I got told they would stay in for a year. The surgery was six months ago and I have only got 2 stitches left. They are unsure of why this is and are putting it down to my body recovering very fast from the surgery. Yes I have been in lots of pain and suffering from migraines from the operation. But thanks to my lovely friends and a smart doctor, I am living my life how I want it. Being a donor recepient has given me a new view on life and I am so glad I will be able to see my life.
If anyone has any questions about the surgery, I will be more then happy to answer them.

Regards,

One happy customer
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replied August 17th, 2009
My Mother was recipent of a cornea, which did not end up working out, but for anyone out there to get put on a list to donate your cornea is a wonderful thing. But you know it takes great courage to even accept a cornea, the stress etc.
Please check with your local eye bank and see what you need to do to be put on a list of donations. Maxine in Florida!!
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replied September 1st, 2009
Hello, my name is Gus Stern, M.D. I am a cornea specialist practicing in Houston. I'm glad to see that there is a forum discussing patients' actual experiences. I might add a little information to the forum. Full thickness corneal transplants generally take around a year to heal (shorter for younger patients). Sutures are gradually removed over this time. When the sutures are removed patients have to wear hard contacts in general. If a person were unable to wear hard contact lens, refractive surgery to correct some of this error could be attempted. Newer corneal transplants (DSAEKs) offer a much more rapid recovery but are generally limited to older patients with Fuchs Dystrophy. Please feel free to resond to this post with any questions. Thanks.
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replied October 1st, 2012
Please let me introduce myself. I live in Manchester, England with my 17yr old son Daniel. When Daniel was 2yrs old he began to suffer with spontaneous corneal ulcers and bletharitis, he was referred to Manchester Eye Hosptal, however no cause or underlying issue was ever found. These ulcers continued to appear for the next 10 years. At around 12 yrs old they ceased and he hasn't suffered from them since.



The recurrence of the ulcers has left him with extreme, full thickness, scarring of the cornea on both eyes and has reduced his vision significantly. He is now at an age when he wants to drive etc but his reduced vision is restricting him.



We have been back to discuss potential treatments today with his consultant but we have been told that a corneal transplant will not necessarily improve his vision due to his problems beginning in early childhood. Apparently his brain will not be programmed for the 'normal' vision which a transplant may give him. His consultant has told him he will carry out the transplant but doesnt think there is much point due to the negative points far outweighing the positive

I would greatly appreciate any information you may be able to give me and your thoughts on any possible treatment which may help his vision to improve.
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replied December 25th, 2012
It's been 3weeks since my dsaek and cataract surgery and my vision is still blurry during the day. In the morning it's better but gets worse as the day goes on then I patch it in the evening. Is this pretty normal?
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replied February 25th, 2010
A positive corneal transplant expeience
I had a combination of cataract surgery and a corneal transplant resulting from Fuch's Dystrophy. The surgery was 5 weeks ago, January 12th, 2010.The procedure was the latest DSEK that used only the endothelial cells of the donor's cornea. The cells (contained as a thin slice of tissue), was placed against the previously removed tissue and held in place with an air bubble which dissipated in 48 hours. The process of removing the cataract, replacing it with an intraocular lens, and then performing the transplant took only 45 minutes. The procedure was painless and I'm ecstatic with the results. Since I have an astigmatism in the good eye, my "new" eye is on a par with it. I'm told that it takes anywhere from 3 to 6 months to get full vision. I'm looking forward to getting the other eye taken care of. Good luck in your decision!!
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replied July 1st, 2010
I had the combination cataract and dseak procedure on March 9 2010. I have Fuch's and and have been diagnoses for about 7 years. I had my first cataract on left eye then and found out about the Fuch's. At that time, I had a cochlear implant in the right ear which gave me my hearing back only to be told I would be losing my vision ! I put off any cornea transplant at that time due to fear and don't think Dseak was known as I never heard of it. I read about cornea transplants and just said no way ! Well, the cataract in my right eye was ready, but the doc would not do surgery until I saw a cornea specialist, which is how I found about the Dseak procedure. I needed something because my driver's license was up for renewal and figured I would never pass the vision. So, the right eye was operated on and all seems to be going as expected. But, the doc about 8 weeks ago, wanted to do that laser procedure to get rid of the cloudiness from the cataract. He waited until June 14. A few days later went back to be checked and my vision was to me, worse due to the letters being in shadows. He said, it shouldn't be like that, everything was in place, no problem there, so, he said I just have to give it time. I am willing to give this all time, but there are days, when I feel it is never going to bet better, that I have reached a plateau and can't expect anything more. It is scary and frustrationg, thinking that maybe the laser did some damage. He said no, but you wonder because it is more apparent when driving. I know weeks ago, the signs were not that blurry and it was much clearer. Now it seems like it was like before the surgery !! The good side is though that I can do some reading without using my old glasses, which I have to still wait for new lenses, which I am hoping will correct this. I do not have problem on the computer which I could not use without glasses My vision now is about 20/25 which he said usually stays around that in the beginning recovery months. He said I will probably always have astigmatism. So, I go back on the June 23 and hopefully he can explain some things to me. I want to know if the donor cells are supposed to reproduce and how does this procedure correct and improve my vision !! I do not want to ever have to have it redone ! I would love some feedback and encouragement from someone who can honestly tell me, that oh yes, it takes time like a year or more, but I will be seeing better. and that it is just a slow process. Thank you so much. I am female and of course the other eye will eventually have to be taken care of. I still don't know why they say it is hereditary, no one in my family had it or has it ! I am 66
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replied July 13th, 2010
Just had transplant using femtosecond laser
I just had a corneal transplant using a femtosecond laser a couple of weeks ago. I wrote a blog entry that I hope may help folks who are planning on have surgery done

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replied February 23rd, 2011
Corneal Transplant
I had a cornea transplant in November 2008 when I was 43. I have known since I was 18 that I would eventually have to have a transplant in both eyes due to extreme astigmatism and keratoconus. I finally had to give in for the transplant due to severe pain in my eye, seeing triple vision and extreme light sensitive. Before the transplant, I was wearing two contacts in each eye. Both a hard and a soft contact. As of Feb 2011, I still have 9 stitches in my eye. It has been a very long 3 years of waiting to get the stitches out and to wear a contact. I was just allowed last month to finally start wearing a contact in that eye. I have tried to reject my transplant on three occassions and now I am having to have laser surgery to get the nine remaining stitches out. The pain is too much for me to stand of them trying to cut and pull them out. Because they have been in there so long, I now have blood vessels forming around the stitches. I can only hope when I get them out, that my eye has healed enough not to have anymore complications. I do see better now but the best I can see is 20/60 and some days it is 20/50, with a contact. I will eventually have to have the other eye done but after what I have gone thru, I am not sure when I will do it.
A suggestion - if you have allergic reactions to anything, check with your doctor before taking any vacination, medicine or flu shot. Weird - yes, taking the flu shot is what set off alot of my problems.
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replied May 19th, 2012
protect eye while healing
I had a cornea transplant on Feb. 1 2012 and was showing some rejection (very cloudy) However March 29 2012 had accident and was hit in eye and caused me to see nothing but pitch black hole and was told that I will never get any vision back in that eye.
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replied May 26th, 2012
Hi, brand new here.
I had a congenital cataract in my left eye, and a transplant was done when I was an infant. I had no surgical complications that I know of. However, the vision in my left eye is strange and hard to describe. I can see, but I can't. Like, I can see light, color, and everything else perfectly. There is no blurriness and things are sharp. I can identify objects, can walk around fine with my good eye closed, can tell how many fingers someone is holding up, and I have peripheral vision. BUT I can't read with that eye at all; it's like I can't recognize letters. Which is pretty ironic, since I'm a foreign language student and probably know more letters and characters than most people. I can't tell if I'm actually focusing on an object or not. My fields of vision do not merge. It's like my brain only half-knows how to use my left eye, and while I'm used to it by now, I was pretty upset when it barred me from military service. I am also perpetually aggravated because I don't even know the actual name for this, and I have trouble explaining exactly what I see from that eye. I've never even met or spoken to another person whose vision is like this. Does anybody have a clue?
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replied October 10th, 2012
hi a new here
i had an accident when i was 5 years (am 24 now)that left my eye really damaged.have had 3 surgeries so far and am awaiting a cornea transplant next month.my eye was black but late last year it started changing color to grey and now its completely greyed.and its as painful its driving me crazy and its ever tearing up all the time.am hoping the this surgery will change the eye color and do away with this pain
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