Eye surgery, also known as ocular surgery, is surgery performed on the eye or its adnexa, typically by an ophthalmologist. The eye is a fragile organ, and requires extreme care before, during, and after a surgical procedure. An expert eye surgeon is responsible for selecting the appropriate surgical procedure for the patient, and for taking the necessary safety precautions.
Since the eye is heavily supplied by nerves, anesthesia is essential. Local anesthesia is most commonly used. Topical anesthesia using lidocaine topical gel are often used for quick procedures. Since topical anesthesia requires cooperation from the patient, general anesthesia is often used for children, traumatic eye injuries, major orbitotomies and for apprehensive patients. The physician administering anesthesia monitors the patient's cardiovascular status. Sterile precautions are taken to prepare the area for surgery and lower the risk of infection. Sterile precautions include the use of antiseptics like povidone-iodine, sterile drapes, gowns and gloves.
Organ transplantation is the moving of an organ from one body to another or from a donor site to another location on the patient's own body, for the purpose of replacing the recipient's damaged or absent organ. The emerging field of regenerative medicine is allowing scientists and engineers to create organs to be re-grown from the patient's own cells (stem cells, or cells extracted from the failing organs). Organs and/or tissues that are transplanted within the same person's body are called autografts. Transplants that are recently performed between two subjects of the same species are called allografts. Allografts can either be from a living or cadaveric source.
Organs that can be transplanted are the heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas, intestine, and thymus. Tissues include bones, tendons (both referred to as musculoskeletal grafts), cornea, skin, heart valves, nerves and veins. Worldwide, the kidneys are the most commonly transplanted organs, followed by the liver and then the heart. Cornea and musculoskeletal grafts are the most commonly transplanted tissues; these outnumber organ transplants by more than tenfold.
Corneal transplantation, also known as corneal grafting, is a surgical procedure where a damaged or diseased cornea is replaced by donated corneal tissue (the graft) in its entirety (penetrating keratoplasty) or in part (lamellar keratoplasty). The graft is taken from a recently deceased individual with no known diseases or other factors that may affect the viability of the donated tissue or the health of the recipient.
The cornea is the transparent front part of the eye that covers the iris, pupil and anterior chamber. The surgical procedure is performed by ophthalmologists, physicians who specialize in eyes, and is often done on an outpatient basis. Donors can be of any age, as is shown in the case of Janis Babson, who donated her eyes at age 10. The corneal transplantation is performed when medicines, keratoconus conservative surgery and cross-linking can not heal the cornea anymore.