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Can Cornea Transplant Help Correct Cataract Surgery related Complications?

Any surgery can be associated with complications and rarely may occur in some patients. Intraoperative and postoperative complications of cataract surgery can rarely affect people’s eyes. A few of these cataract surgery complications can affect the cornea as well.

What are the corneal complications possible after cataract surgery?

Complications like epithelial disruption, corneal infections, mechanical or toxic injury to corneal endothelium, stripping of Descemet’s membrane (the inner layer of cornea to which endothelial cell layer is attached), corneal edema ( Pseudophakic Bullous Kertapathy)etc.

What is Pseudophakic bullous keratopathy?

In some cases, after cataract surgery, there can be mechanical or toxic injury to the endothelial cells (innermost layer of cells) of cornea. Sometimes, there is damage or stripping of Descemet’s membrane during cataract surgery.

Endothelial cells function by pumping excess water out of other layers of cornea thus rendering cornea transparent. Cornea; transparency is a must for clear vision. So, any damage to endothelial cells can cause corneal edema.

Occasionally, after cataract surgery, endothelial cells don’t function well enough to keep the cornea clear due to above mentioned causes.  Patient generally complains of poor vision after surgery which is often worse in the morning, improving throughout the day. Also, in some advanced cases of corneal edema pain is experienced.

What are treatment options?
Diagnosis of poor endothelial function before the cataract surgery can prevent further damage to cells by taking precautions during the cataract surgery. However, in some patients even a ‘perfect’ cataract surgery may lead to endothelial cell loss.
Partial thickness corneal transplant i.e. Endothelial keratoplasty (Corneal transplant of only the inner layer of cornea) like DSEK and DMEK is successful in eyes where there is minimal or no corneal haze. Partial transplant like DSEK and DMEK have the advantages of being associated with quicker healing and better visual outcomes. In eyes with hazy cornea due to scarring, full-thickness cornea transplant may be required to achieve good vision.

Summary: Although, most of the cataract surgeries may be uneventful, there are some cases where there is damage to corneal endothelial cells which may lead to corneal swelling and poor vision. In such cases partial thickness or full thickness corneal transplant is beneficial to improve vision. such decisions are made by the cornea specialist treating you.

About Advanced Eye Hospital and Institute:
Advanced Eye Hospital and Institute in Navi Mumbai is one of the best eye hospitals in Mumbai.  Eye check-up rooms and the operation theatres are state-of-art and equipped with the best diagnostic and surgery machines. Personalised care, infection free modular operation theatres and beautiful ambience complement the cutting-edge eye care offered at AEHI. Besides treating patients from Kharghar, Nerul, Vashi and Panvel, patients from all over western India travel to AEHI for world class eye care management.

About Dr. Charmi Dedhia
Dr Charmi Dedhia is a cornea and cataract specialist at Advanced Eye hospital. She is trained from the best of the institutions and is an expert in managing cornea and eye surface related problems. Besides managing corneal diseases, she is a very good surgeon and regularly performs surgeries like cornea transplantation, DSEK, DALK, DMEK, Amniotic membrane transplantation, ocular surface reconstruction.