The transparent front part of the eye is called the cornea. A variety of corneal diseases may cause clouding of the cornea which may need to be treated using corneal transpantation. During the last decade, surgical techniques for corneal transplantation have improved significantly. Previously, the complete cornea with all its layers was removed and removed with a whole tranplant, called PKP (penetrating keratoplasty). Nowadays, the new lamellar transplant techniques are the technique of choice when suitable. In these cases, only the layer of the cornea which has the disease, is replaced, whereas the healthy layers are preserved. These lamellar techniques, called DSAEK, DMEK and DALK, have several advantages, such as increased safety during surger, reduced risk of rejection of the transplant, faster rehabilitation and better visual function after surgery. Prof. Findl performs all modern techniques of DSAEK, DMEK and DALK at Hanusch Hospital.
If the innermost layer of the cornea, the endothelial cell layer, is affected, the cornea thickens and becomes cloudy. This disease is called "Cornea Guttata", and in case of thickening of the cornea, "Fuchs' Endothelial Dystrophy". Typically, these diseases appear in the elderly. If endothelial cell loss is caused by previous surgery or trauma, it is called "Bullous Keratopathy".
If the stroma, the main tissue of the cornea, is affected, the surgery of choice is either "DALK" or "PKP". Corneal scars may be the result of infectious corneal ulcer, herpes keratitis or trauma.
In Keratoconus, which typically affects young males, the stroma becomes thinner and may also scar. The operation of choice is "DALK", which preserves the innermost healthy layer of the retina and therefore significantly reduces transplantation rejection.