After surgery, it is important not to put any pressure on the eye. It is best not even to touch or rub anywhere near the eye, so the doctor might put a shield over it. Wearing glasses or sunglasses will also help protect the eye.
Your doctor will prescribe eye drops to help the eye heal and prevent infection. It is necessary to keep using some of these medications for several months after a corneal transplant. Without these medications, the eye is much more likely to have problems with the new corneal tissue.
Full recovery of your eyesight could take up to one year. It is important to be patient and let the swelling go down. You are not going to see perfectly over night or in a few days. Patients who have successful corneal transplants report good vision for years.
You Play the Largest Role in Your Recovery
The best way to avoid problems after corneal transplantation is to follow all of your doctor's advice, including using all medications as recommended and keeping all follow-up appointments.
At these appointments, the doctor will check your vision in the eye with the transplant. It is not unusual for that eye to have vision that is very different from the other eye. This difference can be very disturbing, but eyeglasses or contact lenses can improve the situation. Vision can change rapidly after corneal transplantation, so it is necessary to visit the eye doctor more often than usual.
You should be aware that in a small number of cases, the new corneal tissue is rejected by the body even though the operation was successful and all medications were taken correctly.
Your doctors cannot predict exactly how your body will respond to a transplant. It is never fully known how the condition that caused your organ disease will affect your new, transplanted organ. The operation itself is complex and the risks remain high for many patients. After the transplant, you may still need to have biopsies, surgeries, other procedures, or readmissions to the hospital.