Here are some commonly asked questions about corneal transplantion. Please click on any question of interest to go to the answer on this page, or scroll down the page to read all of the answers.

Results of a Transplant


What should I do in preparation for my surgery?
Is the corneal transplant procedure safe?
What's the transplant procedure like?
What can I expect after the surgery?
Can I have sex?
Can I shower?
What are the warning signs of rejection?


 Can I benefit from a corneal transplant?

People needing tranplants are those whose vision is limited due to a damaged or diseased cornea. Other causes of vision impairment such as a hazy cataract or a swollen retina cannot benefit from this procedure.

[Back to top]

 Will my natural eye colour change after surgery?

No. The iris (the coloured part of the eye) isn't affected by a corneal transplant.

[Back to top]

 Will my scheduled corneal transplant be delayed?

Most operations occur on schedule. Rarely, scheduling delays may occur due to a shortage of donated corneas.

[Back to top]

 What should I do in preparation for my surgery?

 Here are some suggestions:

  • Make arrangements for transportation to and from the hospital.
  • Request sick leaves from work.
  • Find a helper with household chores.
  • Do not eat or drink after midnight on the night before surgery.

  Is the corneal transplant procedure safe ?

Like other surgical procedures, complications may occur following a corneal transplant. Your ophthalmologist will go over the risks with you.

[Back to top]

 What’s the transplant procedure ?


A round piece of your cornea
is removed and replaced by 
the clear donor cornea.


The new cornea is sewn in place.

[Back to top]


 What can I expect after the surgery ?

Eyedrops and ointments are used to help the cornea heal. It's important to follow the medication schedule exactly as instructed.

For the first few days after surgery, eye discomfort such as light sensitivity, tearing, aching, or redness are common. Do not rub or touch the eye. Avoid any activity that will increase the pressure in the head and eye like heavy lifting and positioning the head below your waist. Do not get water into the eye. Avoid direct blows to the eye.

It is usually possible to return to work after a week or two. In about a month, it's possible to resume most of one's pre-surgery routines. Because the cornea heals slowly, full improvement in vision may take a year or more.

[Back to top]

 Can I have sex?

After a week or so, gentle sexual activity may resume unless prohibited by your doctor.

[Back to top]

 Can I shower?

Yes, but care must be taken to avoid getting water into the eye. For example, put a shower cap over the eye.

[Back to top]

 What are the warning signs of rejection?

Think R.S.V.P
    R = increased redness, especially around the new cornea
    S = increased sensitivity to light
    V = decrease in vision
    P = persistent eye pain

Call your opthalmologist IMMEDIATELY if you notice any of the above, especially if any one of the symptoms has lasted for more than 6 hours.

[Back to top]

The Eye Bank of Canada, Ontario Division
Department of Ophthalmology
University of Toronto
1929 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Phone: (416) 978-7355, Fax: (416) 978-1522, Email:
Site Design: Ample Banter Productions