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information comparing corneal scraping v. corneal transplant

Posted by Jeff Lunderstadt on July 27, 1999 at 20:50:52
My Grandfather (age 81) is experiencing vision problems as a result of age.
He has had caterax removed from both eyes. Dr. Thomas Henderson(Austin, TX) performed surgery on his brother-in-law who had similar deterioration, and had incredible vision improvement.
A corneal transplant was recommended for my grandfather, to restore sight, but I would like to help him make an informed decision. My Grandfather's concern is blindness, if the transplant is rejected. This concern was articulated by his current Opthamologist.
1. Is the concern of rejection/blindness a major issue?
2. How is the procedure of scraping performed?
3. Can corneal scraping improve his age-related vision loss?
4. Can a facility in the Pittsburgh area be recommended for
   this procedure?

Posted by HFHS MD - NI on July 29, 1999 at 01:06:52
Rejection is possible with any transplant including corneas; however, it is relatively less common in corneal transplants.  The success of the procedure depends upon the reason for the transplant.  Scraping may refer to removing only a partial layer of his cornea and replacing this partial layer. If this is what they mean, it is somewhat more difficult surgery, but the risk of rejection is less.  For more specific advice, your grandfather must be examined by a cornea transplant surgeon.  I would recommend Dr. Gary Foulks who is chairman of the ophthalmology department at the University in Pittsburgh.  He is an excellent corneal specialist and transplant surgeon.
This information is provided for educational purposes only.  Please consult with your physician for diagnostic and treatment options.

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