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Corneal Transplant

Rocky Mountain Eye Center -  - Ophthalmology

Rocky Mountain Eye Center

Ophthalmology & Optometry located in Missoula, Hamilton, Butte & Helena, MT

The cornea is the front window of your eye, and damage to this important structure may leave you with blurry or unclear vision. Ophthalmologist and cornea surgery specialist Chad Nedrud, MD, performs corneal transplants at the Rocky Mountain Eye Center - located in Missoula, Montana. To find out how corneal transplantation can help you, call or book an appointment online today.

Corneal Transplant Q & A

What is a Corneal Transplant?

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The cornea plays an important role in focusing light so you can see. A clear, smooth, and healthy cornea is essential for good vision. When your cornea is damaged, it can’t focus light properly. This leads to blurry vision and glare.

Also called keratoplasty, a corneal transplant is a surgical procedure to replace damaged or diseased corneal tissue with healthy tissue from a human donor.

At Rocky Mountain Eye Center, Dr. Nedrud specializes in treating corneal disease, such as keratoconus, with advanced transplant techniques.

Why Would I Need a Corneal Transplant?

If damage to your cornea can’t heal or be repaired, you may be a candidate for a corneal transplant. Dr. Nedrud performs corneal transplants to treat numerous eye conditions, such as:

  • Keratoconus, which causes your cornea to bulge outward
  • Fuchs’ dystrophy, in which the inner layer of corneal cells doesn’t function properly
  • Eye infections that cause scarring or injury on the cornea
  • Corneal damage from previous eye surgery
  • Recurrent scratches or abrasions on the cornea


In addition to restoring vision, a corneal transplant may relieve pain or other symptoms of corneal disease.

What are the Different Types of Corneal Transplant Procedures?

At Rocky Mountain Eye Center, Dr. Nedrud offers a variety of corneal transplant surgical techniques. Depending on your unique condition, he may recommend:

  • Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK): A DALK, or partial thickness corneal transplant, replaces only the front and middle layers of the cornea. Dr. Nedrud typically uses this procedure to treat keratoconus.
  • Descemet's Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK): The endothelium is the innermost layer of your cornea. A thin layer of tissue called the Descemet membrane protects the endothelium. Endothelial keratoplasty involves removing damaged tissue from these layers and replacing it with donor tissue. In a DSAEK procedure, Dr. Nedrud replaces about one-third of your cornea with donor tissue.
  • Descemet's Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty Intacs® (DMEK): This procedure is similar to DSAEK in that it removes damaged or diseased endothelium and Descemet membrane. The difference is that DMEK involves a much thinner layer of tissue. DMEK is a more challenging procedure, but it involves a faster recovery time.


To learn more about your options for corneal transplant surgery, call Rocky Mountain Eye Center or book an appointment online today.