Corneal Procedures

Corneal Transplants

The cornea is the transparent front part of the eye covering the iris and the pupil. When disease or an injury have damaged the cornea, functional vision can be impaired and it may be necessary to replace it with a graft of healthy tissue.

A corneal transplant, including DSEK, is performed in order to restore transparency to a damaged cornea. The specific type of corneal disease is determined and the best surgical option can then be recommended.

Each week, The South Carolina Eye Bank receives many requests for corneas for transplantation.

Thanks to the generosity of organ donors, tens of thousands of corneal transplant recipients are restored to good functional vision each year. If you signed up to become an organ donor when you renewed your driver’s license, THANK YOU. You have the power to donate the gift of sight!

Visit to learn more about cornea donation.

Corneal Transplant: Overview

DSEK: Overview

What is “DSEK”?

DSEK is a relatively new type of corneal transplant surgery. In the past, a full-thickness graft of corneal tissue was needed, but DSEK involves only a very thin inner layer of the cornea. A DSEK transplant procedure is generally considered somewhat less risky than a traditional full-thickness procedure. The transplanted tissue is often more stable and can provide better vision.


Pterygia are non-cancerous growths that start on the white of the eye (sclera) and can invade the front of the eye (cornea). Untreated they can permanently disfigure the eye or cause discomfort and blurry vision.

People with mild pterygia may not have symptoms or need treatment, but large or growing pterygia can cause a red, gritty, itchy or burning eyes or the feeling that something is "in" the eye. If a pterygium significantly invades the cornea, it can distort the shape of the front surface of the eye, causing astigmatism and higher-order aberrations that affect vision. In this case, pterygium surgery to remove it may be necessary.

Pterygium: Overview

Questions about corneal procedures?

Call 706-922-6000 to schedule a consultation at Augusta Eye MD.