cornea is the clear and transparent front of the eye.
It covers the iris (brown, blue or green colored part
of the eye) and pupil (round black spot in the center
of the iris). For those who wear contact lenses, the contact
lens sits on top of the cornea. The cornea has a certain
natural curvature which gives it the properties of a lens
which focuses the light that comes into the eye.
Cykiert performing corneal transplant surgery
the cornea stays clear throughout life. However certain
conditions (keratoconus, scarring from infections or inflammation,
swelling and clouding following cataract and implant surgery,
scarring from injuries) can cause the cornea to lose its
sharp focusing abilities. The vision thus gets very blurry
and is occasionally associated with pain, redness and
swelling. Sometimes special types of glasses, medications
and contact lenses can be used to treat these corneal
problems and help restore the vision. However, when the
cornea continues to worsen despite these measures, corneal
transplant surgery is indicated to improve the vision,
reduce discomfort, or both.
this surgery, most of the cornea is cut away using very
fine complex instruments under microscopic magnification
(10X). A new cornea is sutured or sewn into place using
a very fine nylon suture that is less than the thickness
of a human hair, yet very strong. The new cornea is donated
from someone who dies and donates (or the immediate family
donates) their eye to an Eye Bank. All donor corneas are
very carefully scrutinized, investigated and evaluated
to make sure that they are in excellent condition and
contain no infections that may spread to the patient.
Patients often ask, and it is important to know that there
has never been a case of AIDS transmitted by corneal transplant
undergoing corneal transplant surgery usually have a very
high success rate, depending on what their underlying
problem was, and the state of health of the rest of the
eye. Careful follow up is essential to make sure the cornea
heals properly and to restore as much vision as possible.
Most people can resume their normal activities within
a few days after surgery, and return to work as long as
there is no threat of direct injury to the eye. The surgery
takes 45-90 minutes yet there is usually no discomfort
during the surgery since the eye is totally numbed. There
is minimal discomfort postoperatively. Eye drops need
to be taken for weeks, months or sometimes longer after
the surgery, in order to maintain the health of the cornea.
Stitches sometimes need to be removed weeks or months
after the surgery. This is done at the office, takes a
few seconds, and is totally painless.
are over 45,000 corneal transplants performed in the USA
annually. Dr. Cykiert is one of the leading corneal transplant
surgeons in New York City since 1980, and has taught many
Ophthalmology residents at the New York University Medical
Center, and New York Eye & Ear Infirmary how to perform
this surgery and take care of the patients postoperatively.
He performs the surgery on almost a weekly basis, usually
as an outpatient, at the New York Eye & Ear Infirmary.
He has also been on the Medical Board of the New York
Eye Bank For Sight Restoration ( the first Eye bank in
the USA) for many years. Dr. Cykiert has performed corneal
transplants on babies as young as 1 month old, up to people
in their 90s. It is not uncommon for patients in their
70s and 80s to need both corneal transplant surgery as
well as cataract surgery at the same time for a variety
of eye problems. This often saves the patient from having
a second operation at a later date.
in any other operation, there are always some small risk
associated with corneal transplant surgery. Dr. Cykiert
reviews these in detail with both patients and their families
prior to the surgery.
Cykiert's 20 years of expertise in performing Corneal
Surgery of various types has naturally made him extremely
proficient in LASIK and Laser Vision Correction. He is
thus considered one of the leading experts in this field
in the New York City Metropolitan area. TOP