When keratoconus progresses to a point where vision correction is no longer possible with contact lenses lenses or other treatments, a corneal transplant may be the last resort.
About 15% to 20% of keratoconus patients may require a corneal transplant, that is usually when there is corneal scarring, extreme thinning or contact lens intolerance.
In corneal transplant, the damaged cornea is replaced with tissue from a donor who has recently died and who previously agreed to donate their tissue. the donated cornea is processed and tested by a local eye bank to make sure it is safe for use in the surgery.
Full recovery and vision stabilization may take up to a year and patient may still need glasses or contact lenses to have clear vision.
Corneal transplant is generally very successful, but graft rejection may occur at any time after the corneal transplant, the risk of rejection decreases over time but never disappears completely.