Our corneal specialist, Dr. Robert G. Elgin, M.D., specializes in diseases of the cornea, which is the front, dome-shaped, clear part of your eye. There are many diseases which may affect the cornea, and many of them can lead to vision loss. Our Cornea specialist completed one additional year of elective fellowship training in an accredited program after completion of both four years of medical school and four years of residency.
Hampton Roads Eye Associates offers clinical expertise in the diagnosis and management of disorders affecting the cornea. We provide our patients with a variety of surgical and medical options for treating pediatric and adult cataracts, corneal disorders (Fuchs’ dystrophy, corneal edema and corneal scarring) as well as refractive errors (myopia and astigmatism).
The cornea is the normally clear, front window of the eye, which allows us to see. When the cornea is damaged by injury or disease, your vision will be negatively affected.
Corneal disease can be caused by:
- Eye Injuries
- Eye Infections
- Inherited Familial or Genetic Conditions
- Aging Changes
Computerized Corneal Topography Mapping is a non-invasive medical imaging technique for mapping the surface curvature of the cornea. The three-dimensional map is therefore a valuable aid in determining the quality of vision.
A corneal transplant replaces a damaged cornea with a healthy donor cornea. This is an outpatient procedure. When the cornea is deeply scarred or swollen and other treatments don’t work, it may be time for a transplant.
A Corneal transplant may be necessary if a patient has:
- Corneal failure after other eye surgery
- keratoconus (a steep curving of the cornea)
- Hereditary corneal failure
- Scarring after infections, especially after herpes
- Rejection after a first corneal transplant
- Scarring after eye injury.
Types of Corneal Surgery
- Traditional full corneal transplant surgery (penetrating keratoplasty) – a circular portion is removed from the center of the diseased cornea. A matching circular area is removed from the center of a healthy, clear donor cornea, and placed into position and sutured into place.
- EK cornea transplant procedure (endothelial keratoplasty) – only the abnormal inner lining of the cornea is removed. A thin disc of donor tissue containing the healthy cell layer is placed on the back surface of the cornea. An air bubble pushes the cell layer into place until it heals in an appropriate position.
Corneal transplant would not be possible without the thousands of generous donors and their families who have donated corneal tissue so that others may see. Each year, nearly 50,000 people with corneal disease are given the gift of sight through cornea donors.