Corneal Transplant


The cornea is the clear, outer, dome-shaped layer of tissue covering the front surface of the eye. As a protective barrier, the cornea filters light as it enters the eye, aids in focusing your vision, and helps retain moisture within the eye. When this structure is damaged from mechanical abrasion, scarring, infections, or other factors, vision may become impaired and pain or other symptoms may result. Skilled ophthalmologist Dr. Steven Yaplee of Triangle Eye Institute may perform corneal transplant surgery in such a case to relieve discomfort and improve vision. A corneal transplant, also called keratoplasty and corneal grafting, replaces a damaged or abnormal cornea with a healthy cornea from an organ donor. Dr. Yaplee has specialized experience in corneal transplant surgery and performs these outpatient procedures at our modern surgical facility in Bakersfield, CA.


A corneal transplant may be recommended to treat a wide range of eye issues, such as a scarred or inflamed cornea, Fuchs’ dystrophy (a hereditary disease), keratoconus (a thinning, bulging cornea), and eye injuries. Common symptoms of a cornea issue include pain, eye irritation, blurry vision, chronic redness, and light sensitivity. Two primary types of corneal transplants commonly performed are penetrating keratoplasty (PK) and endothelial keratoplasty (EK). A PK procedure replaces the entire cornea with donor tissue while an EK corneal transplant replaces the innermost section of the cornea. As a highly experienced eye doctor, Dr. Yaplee will review your treatment options and help you determine the ideal approach for your vision and eye health needs.


If damage to your cornea, keratoconus, or other concerning eye conditions are impacting your vision and comfort, you may be a good candidate for corneal grafting. Dr. Yaplee has helped countless patients throughout Bakersfield and Delano, CA experience better eyesight and improved quality of living. Learn more about the process of corneal treatment, insurance coverage details, and other information by scheduling a visit at Triangle Eye Institute.

Frequently Asked Questions

How serious is a corneal transplant?

Although every surgical procedure carries some small amount of risk, cornea transplant surgery is considered very safe. More than 44,000 corneal transplants are done each year and are one of the most successful of all tissue transplants. Even if the donor cornea is rejected, it can be reversed in 90% of cases.

What are some risks of corneal transplants?

Some risks associated with a corneal transplant include:

  • Donor cornea rejection
  • Eye infection
  • Retinal problems
  • Increased pressure inside the eye (glaucoma)
  • Bleeding
How long does it take to recover from a corneal transplant?

The length of time to recover vision after a corneal implant can be from a few weeks to up to a year or more in some cases. This depends on the health of your eyes, overall physical health, and the type of procedure used. Often, your vision may vary from better to worse before it finally settles.

Are you awake during a corneal transplant?

Corneal transplant surgery is done as an outpatient procedure at the Triangle Eye Institutes’ modern surgical facility in Bakersfield, CA. You are awake for the procedure, but you don’t have to be worried about pain or discomfort. Each eye will be treated with anesthetic drops to numb them before the surgery begins.