Full thickness or Penetrating Keratoplasty

It refers to the replacement of the whole cornea. It is usually performed under GA and involves the removal of a full thickness disc of 8 mm of the cornea of the patients and suturing of a corneal disc from a donor of the same dimensions.

PKP is performed only when there is advanced corneal disease and all corneal layers are affected. The operation is performed under general or local anaesthetic and takes about one hour. A central 8mm button of the patient’s cornea is removed and a similar-sized button of the donor cornea is sewn in with tiny stitches.  These cannot be felt nor seen. Patients can go home after the operation the same day. Usual follow-up after surgery takes place at day one, week one and thereafter month 3,6 and 12.

Penetrating Keratoplasty

generally recommend that you take 2 weeks off work. You will need to use steroid anti-rejection eye drops for at least 6 months and in some cases longer. Stitches are usually removed after 18 months for PKP. The vision is variable during this period and only the stitched are fully removed the final visual outcome can be realized. Patients are assessed for glasses or contact lenses and in some cases can undergo further procedures including laser eye surgery and implantable contact lens surgery to further ameliorate the outcome.