Questions for your surgeon before a corneal transplant
is a list of questions to ask your surgeon prior to a corneal transplant.
It was compiled by Dr Bezalel Schendowich, OD, FIACLE and incorporated
into the NKCF's Corneal Transplant Surgery booklet. The booklet can
be obtained from Keratoconus Australia.
What are the most
important questions you wished you had asked your surgeon before your surgery?
1. Who can I
talk to who has had this surgery?
2. How can I
contact other patients who have undergone this surgery for support and general
advice when the doctor is not available?
3. What should
I bring with me to the hospital?
4. How long will
I be hospitalized?
5. How can I
prepare for my hospital stay?
6. Can you give
me a full description of what will take place during the surgery,
barring any problematic developments?
7. Do you use
local or general anesthetic?
8. What might
be the side effects of the anesthesia?
9. How does follow-up
care proceed after surgery?
10. Can you describe
for me the overall road to recovery? How long will my eye be swollen?
11. What kind
of discomfort can I expect?
12. What are
the possible complications of this procedure? Cataracts?
13. How long
do the stitches remain and what is the procedure for their removal?
14. When do you
remove stitches and why?
15. How much
vision can I expect to have after the operation?
16. How long
would it take to have useable vision from the operated eye?
17. What are
some possible complications to watch out for, both serious and benign?
18. What should
I do if I cannot contact my surgeon in some emergency?
19. What about
swimming, bathing, showering, shampooing after my operation?
20. Will I need
special eye protection?
21. Will I be
limited in my daily activity after the operation?
22. Are there
bodily motions or actions that I should refrain from for some period of time
after the operation (because of the possibility of causing problems for the
healing of the graft or because of other ill though benign effects)?
23. Will I need
assistance around the house?
24. How long
until can lift heavy objects?
25. When will
I be able to return to work?
26. Can more
surgery be needed after the transplant?
27. What are
the chances of rejection and what are the signs?
28. What are
the roles of each of the medications you will be prescribing for me to use
after the surgery?
29. Explain the
use of steroids and suggest alternatives
30. How dangerous
are the steroid drops?
31. How can I
tell if the transplanted cornea is a success?
contributed as answers to the question:
What are the
most important pieces of advice for the care and well being of your grafted
cornea, which you have received since your operation?
1. Arrange for
EVERYTHING beforehand: babysitters, frozen food, audio
2. How to cope
with the side effects of the surgery: dizziness from the anesthesia, eye
pain...Signs of possible rejection: RSVP (redness, sensitivity, vision changes,
3. Too much light
sensitivity (really bad pain) after the transplant is not normal; excess
tearing is not normal.
4. Stitches may
be uncomfortable, but report any undo sensation to the surgeon.
5. Protect your
eye by wearing an eye shield or clear glasses.
6. BE CAREFUL;
in fact, be overprotective.
7. Don't get
soap in your eye.
8. Don't do anything
that can potentially cause the eye to get knocked.
9. Don't rub
10. Don't over
do it when you are tired: rest.
11. Don't overwear
contact lenses on the transplanted cornea.
12. Remain vigilant
and react to any possible sign of rejection.
13. Use a plastic
shield inside and wrap around sunglasses outside.
14. Have someone
look after you for at least the first three days - it may turn out to be
unnecessary, but arrange for it beforehand anyway.
15. Watch the
steroids, they do funny things to your body.
16. Don't be
in a hurry to remove your stitches.
17. Talk to others
who have had the surgery.
18. Be prepared
for lifestyle changes (driving, work
19. Have family
with you for doctor's visits, so that they will also be able to ask questions,
record the answers, and participate in your recovery.