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What is PKP?

PKP, short for Penetrating Keratoplasty, is a highly specialized corneal transplant or corneal graft procedure. This procedure involves the surgical removal of a damaged cornea and its replacement with healthy tissue grafts from a donor, usually obtained from an eye bank. Procuring tissue grafts for a corneal transplant isn’t difficult because there’s no need for tissue-matching. The ophthalmologist simply removes the diseased cornea and places the tissue graft, thereby restoring your vision.

The cornea is a transparent tissue located at the front of the eye, responsible for bending light rays towards the retina. If the cornea is misshapen, diseased, damaged, or obstructed, you can’t see clearly, leading to astigmatism, blurry vision, double vision, and other vision problems. Unlike DSEK and DMEK, the PKP corneal transplant technique replaces all the corneal layers with donor tissues, not just the epithelial cells.

When is PKP Performed?

PKP corneal transplant is suitable for patients with misshapen, diseased, damaged, or infected corneas. If the cornea is improperly curved or damaged, it can’t bend light properly, leading to vision problems. You are a candidate for a PKP corneal transplant if your corneal problems are too severe to be treated with other non-surgical methods, such as corrective lenses. Some of the signs indicating you may need a cornea transplant include blurry vision, double vision, and eye pain.

The PKP corneal transplant can be performed on patients with the following conditions:

  • Corneal edema
  • Corneal dystrophy
  • Fuch’s dystrophy
  • Keratoconus
  • Keratitis
  • Traumatic corneal injuries
  • Bacterial or viral corneal infections
  • Fungal corneal infections
  • Benign corneal growths
  • Rejection of previous corneal grafts

Your PKP Cornea
Transplant Experience

Medical Surgical Eye Institute performs a highly personalized PKP corneal transplant after a thorough evaluation. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia or general anesthesia, depending on your unique condition. The ophthalmologist uses a speculum to keep the eyelids open and measure the amount of donor tissues necessary. The damaged corneal tissues are carefully removed, and a matching portion of the donor tissue is carefully placed. The tissue grafts are sutured in place — the stitches are usually invisible. The procedure takes 1 to 2 hours.

Recovery After PKP
Corneal Transplantation

You have to wear corrective glasses or contact lenses after your PKP corneal transplantation procedure. Your vision will gradually start improving after a few weeks, but it might take around one year for optimal improvement in clarity. You will also have to self-administer eyedrops to prevent infections and avoid sports and high-risk activities. If you experience any irritation or vision problems, please contact your ophthalmologist immediately.

Schedule an Appointment

Medical Surgical Eye Institute is a premier eye care center specializing in the latest corneal transplantation techniques, such as DSEK, DMEK, and PKP. We select the ideal corneal transplant technique based on your unique eye condition and goals, ensuring safe results with minimal side effects and complications. If you notice the signs and symptoms of corneal injuries or disease, please schedule an appointment at our eye care center in Worcester.

Schedule a

Contact Us (508) 853-2020