SPOKANE (509) 928-8040 : HAYDEN (208) 762-0605
COEUR D'ALENE (208) 664-9888

Mark Kontos, M.D. : Christopher Sturbaum, M.D. : David Skale, M.D. : Casey Claypool, O.D. : Ali Heaton, O.D.

Corneal Transplants

Welcome to the Empire Eye Surgery Center. Our facility is designed to comfort patients in an extraordinary professional setting. We offer you a remarkable combination of advanced surgical skill and state-of-the-art medical technology. Our elite team of eye physicians and staff are here to care for you in a very personalized manner. 

The information that follows is designed to give you a better understanding of Corneal Transplants so you can decide if this procedure is right for you or a loved one. 

Corneal Transplants are designed for an individual whose vision cannot be corrected to a satisfactory level by glasses, contact lenses or other surgeries. Typically, poor vision caused by a cornea in this condition is a result of corneal failure after another eye surgery, Keratoconus, Fuchs' dystrophy or scarring following an injury to the eye. 

Each year over 40,000 corneal transplants are performed in the United States alone. It is a very well established procedure that has resulted in returning good vision to numerous people previously left with no alternatives for visual improvement. 

If you believe you are a candidate for a corneal transplant, please call our office to schedule a consultation. If after the initial consultation, our physicians determine this is the best course of action for you, we will put you on a waiting list for a donor cornea. Typically the wait to receive your donor cornea is not long. Once the donor cornea has become available, it will be checked thoroughly by our physicians for clarity and your surgery visit will be scheduled. The surgery is performed at our center on an outpatient basis. 

On the day of surgery, please plan on arranging for transportation home, as you will be unable to drive yourself. You will also be asked to schedule a follow up or post-operative exam for the following day. 

Your eye may be covered with a protective shield following surgery and the doctor will ask you not to drive for a while, as well as to avoid any activity which might cause unnecessary strain to your eye. You are permitted to use over-the-counter pain relievers if you experience any unusual discomfort. However, if any of the following occur, please call our office immediately at (509) 928-8040: 

  • Cloudiness and deterioration of vision in the treated eye
  • Persistent discomfort
  • Light sensitivity
  • Redness
  • Bleeding or Swelling

Your transplant requires care and attention from both you and your doctor, so regular follow-up visits are recommended. Vision in the treated eye typically continues to improve for up to one year following surgery. 

Another alternative surgery you may wish to discuss with your doctor is known as Descemet's Stripping with Endothelial Keratoplasty or DSAEK. Unlike corneal transplantation, where the entire cornea is replaced, DSAEK only replaces the damaged cell layer. This typically allows for quicker healing and recovery time than that for corneal transplantation. You and your doctor will be able to determine if DSAEK or a Corneal Transplant is the right alternative for you.