After your partial thickness corneal transplant (called DSAEK, DMEK, or DALK), you will need to lie face up looking at the ceiling, except for when you need to eat or go to the washroom. You will need to do this for about 48 hours. After that, you will be able to move around normally. After the surgery, you will also need to wear an eye shield overnight. Then you will need to wear a clear eye shield or glasses to protect your eye until it has healed.
Your eye may feel irritated or scratchy for a few days after surgery. But it's important not to rub your eye. Rubbing your eye could damage it. Your vision may be blurry for a period of time after surgery. For some people, it may take 6 to 12 weeks to get the full benefits of surgery and to see as clearly as possible.
Your doctor will give you eyedrops to help your eye heal and prevent your body from rejecting the donor tissue. Use the drops exactly as directed. You will need to see your doctor often to have your vision checked.
You will probably be able to return to work or your normal routine in about 1 to 2 weeks after surgery. But your vision will still be blurry. You will need to avoid heavy lifting for about 4 weeks, or until your doctor says it is okay.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: December 3, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Carol L. Karp, MD - Ophthalmology
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