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Post-operative Care

Following the procedure, it is normal for the eye to feel scratchy and irritated for the first few days.  If severe pain and nausea is experienced, you will need to contact our consulting rooms immediately.  It is important to contact us also should any of the symptoms below appear:

  • Sudden reduction or loss of vision.
  • Persistent discomfort and tearing.
  • Sudden light sensitivity.
  • Redness.

You will need to:

  • Rest for a day or two.
  • Clean the eye according to our instructions.
  • Wear an eye shield or sunglasses as advised.
  • Refrain from rubbing or applying pressure to the eye.
  • Use the eye drops and other medication as prescribed.
  • Use over-the-counter analgesics if required.
  • Plan on taking leave of absence from work according to our recommendation (Dr Potgieter will provide you with a medical certificate for the period).
  • Attend all your follow-up appointments.

The recovery period following a corneal transplant may be as long as one year, depending on the type of transplant.  Over this period, frequent follow-up visits are necessary to ascertain proper healing of the graft.  It is customary to remove the corneal sutures in a staged fashion, so that by the one year post-operative mark the final sutures are removed.  Another period of 6 months is then allowed for the corneaThe cornea is the clear, transparent 'front window' of the eye through which light enters the eye. It handles about two-thirds of the focusing power of the eye and is critical for good vision. See Info on Eyes – Anatomy. to stabilize.

The cornea is usually becomes stable 6 months after the removal of the final sutures.  At this point, the residual refractive component can be addressed if required by means of the applicable refractive surgery technique.