A cornea transplant replaces diseased or scarred corneal tissue with healthy tissue from an organ donor.
There are two main types of cornea transplants: traditional, full thickness cornea transplant (also known as penetrating keratoplasty, or PK) and back layer cornea transplant (also known as endothelial keratoplasty, or EK).
A graft replaces central corneal tissue, damaged due to disease or eye injury, with healthy corneal tissue donated from a local eye bank. An unhealthy cornea affects your vision by scattering or distorting light and causing glare and blurred vision. A cornea transplant may be necessary to restore your functional vision.
Corneal eye disease is the fourth most common cause of blindness (after cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration) and affects more than 10 million people worldwide.*
More than 47,000 cornea transplants will be performed in the United States in 2013, according to an estimation by the Eye Bank Association of America. Since 1961, more than one million people have had their sight restored with a cornea transplant.