Alternatives To Corneal Transplants
Corneal transplant surgery is a safe and effective treatment for the replacement of damaged, diseased or infected corneal tissue, but it is not always the best solution. In fact, there are a number of alternatives to corneal implant surgery that may be better suited to your unique vision problem(s).
TOC Eye® boasts a highly experienced team of ophthalmic professionals that can work with you to diagnose the source of your cornea vision problem and suggest the best course of treatment. During your consultation we can help you determine if corneal transplant surgery is the best course of action, or whether alternative treatments such as PTK or Intacs® may serve you better.
Phototherapeutic Keratectomy (PTK)
PTK might be a better treatment option for you if your corneal disease is limited to the surface layer of the cornea. PTK is an FDA-approved advanced laser surgery that can effectively treat corneal dystrophies like recurrent erosion syndrome (RES), in addition to cornea scars and certain infections.
During the PTK procedure, an alcohol solution is applied to the eye to dissolve the outer epithelium before an excimer laser is used to vaporize the affected tissue. New, healthy corneal tissue can then regrow in its place.
PTK differs from other laser eye surgeries like PRK and LASIK in that it does not actually correct vision. Rather, it simply treats the conditions that can impair vision.
Whereas corneal transplant recovery is a slow process that can take many months, PTK recovery ranges from days to weeks. After treatment, a bandage contact lens is put in place to protect the eye. As with corneal transplant, eye drops and anti-infection medications will be administered to help with your recovery.
Intacs® Corneal Implants
Not all corneal diseases require the tissue to be excised and replaced. If you suffer from keratoconus (bulging of the cornea), there are other methods that can be used to reshape the cornea before transplantation must be considered. At TOC Eye®, for example, we offer Intacs® corneal implants.
FDA approved since 1999, Intacs® are two tiny crescent-shaped biocompatible lenses that are implanted in the periphery of the cornea to slowly flatten the bulging shape and improve focal vision. The thickness of the Intacs® is determined based on the severity of your keratoconus. (The more significant the bulging, the thicker the implant). Advanced cases of keratoconus may not be suitable for Intacs® treatment. Rest assured we will work with you to determine the best treatment for your unique considerations.
The outpatient procedure is incredibly safe and can be performed in merely 15 minutes. Most people with Intacs® achieve 20/20 vision or better. Results are often noticeable the day after surgery.
In addition to these transplant alternatives, there are variations on traditional cornea transplant surgery. TOC Eye® offers Descemet’s stripping with endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK).
DSEK (also referred to as DSAEK or partial cornea transplant) is often used to treat corneal swelling that can occur as a byproduct of cataract surgery or Fuchs’ dystrophy, a degenerative eye disease that typically affects the innermost layer of cornea cells (the Descemet’s membrane). Eye drops will be prescribed after treatment to help aid recovery and prevent tissue rejection. Overall, DSEK is viewed as a very safe and effective treatment alternative to penetrating corneal transplant surgery.
The question is, are you a candidate for these cornea transplant alternatives?
Schedule Your Consultation Today
If you are interested in learning more about the various alternatives to corneal transplant surgery offered at TOC Eye®, call us today at 631-751-2020 or contact us via our web form to schedule a free consultation. We offer a variety of treatment discounts and Care Credit interest-free financing plans.