New Surgical Technique Makes Laser-Treated Eyes Donor-Eligible for Donating Cornea

A nationwide shortage of cornea donations may be eased in the next year by making people with laser surgery eligible for donations, says Honolulu ophthalmologist John Olkowski.

Patients with LASIK or PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) eye surgery have not been candidates for cornea donation because of the transplantation method, but a new surgical technique will change the restriction, said Olkowski, EyeSight Hawaii refractive and corneal specialist.

Due to unavailability, only about 130 corneal transplants a year are done in Hawaii on an average, said Shawn Wofford, Hawaii Lions Eye Bank executive director.

Wofford said there is a huge demand internationally for corneal transplants: "The World Health Organization says over 1 million people in China need a cornea. Australia has a one-year wait list."

The surge of laser surgery nationally has ruled out potential cornea donors, Wofford said. But Olkowski is among corneal specialists using a new surgical technique that does not exclude cornea donors with laser surgery.

Olkowski said corneal specialists for the last hundred years have transplanted the whole thickness of the cornea because the back layer or endothelium, which is most important for clarity, does not work.

However, for about 2 1/2 years he has been using a procedure called endothelial keratoplasty, replacing only the back layer, he said.

Olkowski said 10 to 15 percent of corneal specialists are using the new procedure and the number is growing.

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2 Responses to “New Surgical Technique Makes Laser-Treated Eyes Donor-Eligible for Donating Cornea”

  1. Nitin Gupta Says:

    Respected Sir,I am Nitin Gupta From Uttar Pradesh(India).My age is 22 years.In my left eye having problem from birth.Its number is constant and will be +8.0 D from birth and i have no problem with this eye because i have right eye is 6/6.But after completing 12th standard i checked my eyes from eye specialist then Now i have completed my B.Tech and i want to LESIK-LASER in my right eye.So please Tell me immediately overall procedure and Expences to my mail id.I want to do it immediately.

  2. Terri Brinkman Says:

    My mother who is 72 years old has macular degeneration. Would she be eligible for a cornea transplant? She lives in Maryland. How would she get on a waiting list? Is this even possible.

  3. ESPARZA Says:

    bonjour j’ai mon fils ag� de 20ans qui aurait besoin d’etre op�r� pourriez vous mindiquer ou dois je madresser que dois je faire ou aller ou appeler on ma dit qu’en australie on pouvait faire quelque choses pourriez vous me renseigner ? cordialement une maman qui d�sesp�re de voir que son enfant a eu sa vue baisser a l’age de 14ans et auquel nous n’arrivons pas en france a determiner lce que cest mon fils a baiss� les bras durant ces derni�res ann�es de recherches en recherches dans les hopitaux sans aucune trouvaille, il aimerait faire des recherches par internet pour pr�voir une op�ration merci a vois coridalement

  4. j�r�my Says:

    bonjur mon fils � 20 ans a eu sa vue qui a baiss� a l’age de 14ans sans r�sultat en recherche en france, j’aurai aim� savoir ou dois je madresser ou aller en australier ? il a baiss� les bras, ces dernieres ann�es. A ce jour il aimerait reprendre sur internet diff�rentes adresses pour se renseigner ou autres quelles d�marches doiton faire ? sa vue est inexplicable lui m�me ne comprend pas et les m�decins non plus merci

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