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Corneal transplant (keratoplasty) in Turkey

Corneal transplant (keratoplasty) in Turkey is a surgical procedure to replace part of the cornea with the donor's cornea.

The cornea is the transparent, domed part of the eyeball that participates in refraction and focusing of the eye.

A corneal transplant is aimed at restoring the function and structure of the cornea, can help restore vision, reduce pain and improve the appearance of a damaged or diseased cornea, as well as eliminate congenital defects and deformities.

Most often, keratoplasty is performed to restore vision impaired due to damage to the cornea. A corneal transplant can also relieve pain or other signs and symptoms associated with corneal disease. These include:

  • bulging of the cornea outward (keratoconus)
  • Fuchs dystrophy
  • thinning of the cornea
  • scarring due to infection or injury
  • clouding of the cornea
  • corneal edema
  • corneal ulcers
  • complications caused by previous surgical interventions

Corneal transplant in Turkey is a relatively safe procedure. Most keratoplasty operations are successful.

What are the methods of corneal transplantation?

The most common corneal transplant methods are as follows:

  • Penetrating keratoplasty: - This is the most common method of corneal transplantation. In this method, the surgeon removes a small part of the patient's cornea and replaces it with a round part of the entire thickness of the donor corneal autograft. The donor cornea is attached with sutures.
  • Anterior deep lamellar keratoplasty (DALK): With this corneal transplant method, about 95% of the cornea is transplanted and the operation is performed when the cornea is healthy but the stroma is affected. The donor cornea is fixed with sutures.
  • Descemet Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK): In this technique, the inner cell layer is removed and replaced with donor corneal tissue. The donor corneal tissue is fixed not with sutures, but with an air bubble until it connects to the patient's cornea.

Which surgeon performs corneal transplant?

Corneal transplantation is performed by an ophthalmologist surgeon.

Duration of procedure / surgery:

Corneal transplantation takes 1 to 2 hours.

Length of hospital stay:

Not at all. Corneal transplantation is usually done on an outpatient basis.


Corneal transplants are generally performed under local anesthesia.


Recovery time depends on the method of surgery. - It can take about two years for the eye to fully stabilize and to establish vision after anterior deep lamellar keratoplasty (DALK). - After Descemet Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK), vision is fully restored within three months. - As a rule, after the second or third week after corneal transplant, you can return to work. - The sutures that hold the corneal graft remain for 1-3 years until the cornea has engrafted.


Corneal transplantation is relatively safe, but there is little risk of serious complications. - Infection (the cornea heals slowly and infection is possible during this period). - Corneal graft rejection (according to the English Public Health Service, retinal detachment occurs in about one percent of corneal graft patients). - Rejection of the donor cornea (according to the English National Health Service, one in five corneal transplants is completely or partially rejected). - Deterioration or blurred vision. - Glaucoma.


After corneal transplant, wear a blindfold for 1-4 nights. - Use medicated eye drops to prevent infection. - You can't rub your eyes. - Avoid strenuous physical activity and contact sports for several weeks after corneal transplantation. - Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from bright light. - Get regular eye exams.

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