PKP -Full Thickness Corneal Transplant
Penetrating keratoplasty or PKP is a full thickness transplant of the cornea. The cloudy, diseased, or scarred cornea is surgically removed and replaced with a full thickness cornea from a donor.
PKP is indicated for visually significant corneal scars, long-standing corneal swelling, corneal dystrophies, and corneal degenerations such as keratoconus and pellucid marginal degeneration where rigid contact lenses no longer provide adequate vision. PKP has a long track record and was first performed in the early 1900’s.
After surgery patients must remain on steroid eye drops for many years to prevent rejection. Non-dissolvable sutures remain in the cornea for several months, and are slowly removed in the office to reduce astigmatism. It may take up to 12 months to reach the best possible visual acuity. PKP may result in regular or irregular astigmatism, and may require prescription glasses or rigid contact lenses after surgery. Corneal transplants which have failed and become cloudy may be repeated and replaced with a new transplant.