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Cornea Donation

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A corneal transplant is a surgical procedure done in order to replace disc-shaped segment of an unhealthy cornea with a similarly shaped piece of healthy donor cornea. This surgery is also called as keratoplasty or corneal graft.

Did You Know that when someone says “eye donation”, whole eye is not transplanted to the recipient, only corneal tissue is recovered from the donor for transplantation.

Cornea Donation Time frame

Eye banks can determine their own time frame but typically, the tissue may be recovered for up to 8-12 hours if the body is kept cool. Eye banks will store the tissue in special solution before 24 hours for preservation. This preserved tissues can be used within seven days for transplant.

Things To Know About Cornea Donation

One cornea donor can restore sight to 2 people.

Only corneas, not eyes, can be transplanted.

95% of all corneal transplants have successfully restored the vision

More than 44,000 corneal transplants done every year, making it the second-most common transplant after blood donation

Cornea donation

Almost everyone is eligible to donate their corneas irrespective of health conditions, age and blood type. In fact, age and blood type are unimportant in determining cornea donor suitability. Similarly, eye colour of the donor as well as quality of eyesight are not important factor to be considered during donation.

However, people with severe infections, transmissible diseases such as HIV and hepatitis, cannot donate their corneas. If there is any previous eye surgery or eye disease in the donor, they will be assessed during the time of donation before the transplant is made.

Cornea Storage

Retrieval of the cornea should be performed within hours of death. Nearest eye bank should be notified on the death of the donor who meets preliminary criteria for cornea donation.

If a donor cornea is unsuitable for transplant, eyes may be used for research and training, when consent is given for that purpose.

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