RisksBy Mayo Clinic staff
Cornea transplant is a relatively safe procedure. Still, a cornea transplant does carry a small risk of serious complications, such as:
- Eye infection
- Increased risk of clouding of the eye's lens (cataracts)
- Pressure increase within the eyeball (glaucoma)
- Problems with the stitches used to secure the donor cornea
- Rejection of the donor cornea
- Swelling of the cornea
Signs and symptoms of cornea rejection
In some cases, your body's immune system may mistakenly attack the donor cornea. This is called rejection, and it may require treatment or another cornea transplant.
Make an appointment with your eye doctor if you notice any signs and symptoms of rejection, such as:
- Loss of vision
- Sensitivity to light
Rejection occurs in about 20 percent of cornea transplants. Put another way, for every 10 people receiving cornea transplants, two people can expect to experience rejection of the donor cornea.
- Facts about the cornea and corneal disease. National Eye Institute. http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/cornealdisease/. Accessed Dec. 10, 2010.
- Krachmer JH, et al. Cornea. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby; 2005:1413.
- Learn the facts. Eye Bank Association of America. http://www.restoresight.org/donation/learnthefacts. Accessed Dec. 10, 2010.