Post-operative care after corneal graft

After surgery the operated eye will be covered by an eye pad which will be removed the following day.  A protective plastic shield will need to be worn for two weeks at night and care should be taken to avoid any blows to the eye.  Dark glasses will help if sensitivity to light is experienced.  Normal activities can be resumed when the patient feels able to do so.

Eyedrops will be necessary for at least the first six months following surgery with frequent follow-up review in outpatients for the first year, as the period following the transplant can be complicated by infection, rejection (see below), glaucoma and cataract formation. 

Patients should not expect their vision to be immediately clear following surgery.  This will fluctuate during the first few months as the cornea is slow to heal, often at least a year.  The stitches will be removed when healing is complete. 

There is a risk of rejection of the transplant and it is important to recognise signs of this and to seek urgent attention.  These include decrease in sight with cloudy vision, redness or soreness of the eye and pain.   With prompt action it is possible to reverse rejection and failure to obtain the correct treatment early may result in permanent loss of sight. 

Some months after the operation a contact lens, or possibly glasses, may be prescribed.  Patients should not restart driving until they have had confirmation that it is safe to do so.

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