A stitchless corneal transplant in Turkey/Istanbul, also called keratoplasty, can restore vision, reduce pain, and improve the appearance of a scarred cornea.
What you need to know
It is the transparent layer at the front of the eye that helps focus light so that you can see clearly.
If it is damaged, it may need to be replaced.
The surgeon will remove all or part of the cornea and replace it with a healthy layer of tissue.
The new cornea is obtained from people who choose to donate it after their death.
Light rays passing through the damaged cornea can be distorted, impairing vision.
A corneal transplant corrects many eye problems, including:
- Corneal scarring due to injury or infection.
- Corneal ulcers, whether from infection or other.
- A condition that causes swelling of the cornea (keratoconus).
- Thinning, clouding (opaque) or swelling of the cornea.
- Hereditary eye diseases, such as Fuchs' dystrophy and others.
- Problems caused by previous eye surgery.
Of course, your doctor will tell you which procedure is best for you.
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Full thickness corneal transplantation (Penetrating Keratoplasty PK)
If the doctor performs Penetrating Keratoplasty (PK), all layers of the cornea will be replaced.
The surgeon sews the new cornea over your eye with stitches that are thinner than the hair.
You may need this procedure if you have a severe corneal injury or bad swelling or scarring.
One of the main differences from a partial corneal transplant is that it takes longer to heal.
Partial Thickness Cornea Transplant (Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty DALK)
During a deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK), the surgeon injects air to raise and separate the superficial middle and anterior layers, then removes it and replaces it with the new cornea.
This procedure may be performed on people with keratoconus or a corneal scar that has not affected the inner layers.
This technique takes less time to recover than a full-thickness implant does, and because the eye itself does not need to be opened, it is less likely to damage the lens and iris, and this reduces the possibility of infection within the eye.
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Internal keratoplasty or what is known as corneal transplant without stitches in Turkey or by laser
Half of those who perform corneal transplants suffer from problems in the inner layer of the cornea. So only the inner layer should be moved.
First: DSEK or DSAEK corneal transplant without stitches in Turkey
Doctors often perform this type of surgery to help Fuchs' dystrophy and other similar medical conditions.
Endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK or DSAEK) is the most common type of endothelial keratoplasty.
The surgeon removes the lining - which is a single thick layer of cells - and the Descemet's membrane (inner membrane) just above it.
They then replace it with a donated endothelium and the decimet's membrane (the thickened middle layer of the cornea).
and showed numerous studies Very good results were obtained after complete corneal transplant failure.
Second: Descemet's Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK) without stitches in Turkey
This is the least invasive technique, where only the endothelium and Descemet's membrane are implanted - there are no supporting cells.
The reason is that the donor tissue is very thin and fragile, so it is difficult to work with, but recovery from this procedure is usually faster.
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When are both of these operations performed?
With DSEK / DSAEK surgery, it may be easier to transplant and place the donor tissue because it is thicker than the tissue required in DMEK surgery.
In DMEK surgery, the donor tissue is thinner and can be more difficult to transplant. But recovery is faster because the transplanted tissues are thinner.
Your eye surgeon will choose the type of surgery based on the condition of your cornea.
The third option for patients with Fuchs' dystrophy is a simple removal of the central part of the inner membrane without a transplant, and it is used if the surrounding cornea looks good enough to repair the removed area.
What does corneal transplant surgery look like?
Before the procedure, your doctor will likely do a physical exam and some lab tests to make sure you're in good general health. You may have to stop taking certain medications, such as aspirin, two weeks before the procedure.
The patient usually has to use antibiotic eye drops the day before the transplant to help prevent any infection.
Most of the time, these surgeries are done like any other outpatient procedure where no monitoring is required and are performed under local anaesthesia.
This means that you will be awake but dizzy, the area is completely numb, and you will be able to go home the same day.
Your doctor will perform the entire surgery through microsurgery. It usually takes 30 minutes to an hour.
After that, you'll likely wear an eye covering for at least a day, possibly 4 days, until the top layer of your cornea has healed.
Your eye is likely to be red and sensitive to light. There may be pain for a few days, but some people do not feel any discomfort.
Other points you should know about corneal transplantation
Your doctor will prescribe eye drops to reduce inflammation and reduce the chances of infection.
They may prescribe other medications to help relieve the pain.
He or she will also want to examine your eye the day after surgery, several times over the next two weeks, and then several more times during the first year.
For implants such as DSEK and DMEK that use a gas bubble inside the eye to help position the transplanted tissue, your surgeon may ask you to lie down sometimes during the day and sleep flat on your back at night for several days.
You will have to protect your eye from injury after surgery.
Follow your doctor's instructions carefully.
Your cornea doesn't get any blood, so it heals slowly. If stitches must be placed during the procedure, your doctor will remove them in the clinic after a few months.
Possible complications of corneal transplant
A corneal transplant is considered a fairly safe procedure, but it is a surgical procedure, so there are risks.
In about 1 in 10 transplants, the body's immune system attacks the donated tissue. This is called rejection.
It can be overcome with eye drops most of the time.
Due to the small portion of donor tissue that is transplanted as in a non-stitch corneal transplant (DSEK and especially DMEK), there is a much lower risk of rejection with these procedures.
Other things that can happen include:
- pathological infection.
- High eye pressure (called glaucoma).
- Clouding or clouding of the lens of the eye (called cataracts).
- Corneal swelling.
- Retinal detachment, when the back of the eye moves away from its normal position.
Contraindications after corneal transplantation in Turkey
- Do not rub your eyes.
- During the first weeks after surgery, avoid strenuous exercise and lifting heavy objects.
- If you have a job that does not involve physical stress, you can return to work two to three weeks after surgery.
- If your job involves manual labor, you should wait 3 to 4 months.
- Avoid places filled with smoke or dust, as this can irritate your eyes.
- If your eyes are sensitive to light, wearing sunglasses can help.
- Avoid contact sports and swimming until you have clear advice that they are safe, and wear safety goggles when resuming contact sports.
- Shower as usual, but be careful not to get water in your eyes for at least a month.
- Do not drive until a specialist tells you that it is possible.
Final recommendations about corneal transplantation in Turkey
Most people who have a corneal transplant get their vision back at least partially, but each condition must be categorized separately.
It may take a few weeks and up to a year for your vision to fully improve.
But your eyesight may deteriorate a little before you reach the final result.
You may need to adjust your eyeglasses or contact lens prescription to include correction of astigmatism because the transplanted tissue will not be perfectly round.
After the first year is over, you should see your eye doctor once or twice a year. Donated tissue usually lasts a lifetime.
We in Bimaristan offer you the best and cheapest corneal transplant centers in Turkey. Bimaristan Medical Center remains your first choice for treatment in Turkey.
We direct you to the best expert specialists in all fields, we break the language barrier, Arab specialist doctors will help you communicate with your doctor, we help you book an appointment in the most important and latest hospitals in Turkey,
We will be with you step by step towards recovery.
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Do not hesitate to contact us, Bimaristan Your Family Center in Turkey.