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Is an Eye Transplant Possible?


Updated June 09, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Cornea, corneas, cornea before surgery, cornea after surgery, cornea before and after surgery,

Cornea: Before and After Surgery

Question: Is an Eye Transplant Possible?
My friend says she is having an eye transplant surgery, I say such a thing isn't possible. Who is right?

You may hear the words "eye transplant" used by patients, but a true eye transplant surgery is not possible. Currently, the only eye transplant procedure that is available is the cornea transplant, which replaces a diseased cornea with a cornea donated by a deceased donor. So your friend probably meant that she would be having a cornea transplant, not an eye transplant.

Scientists don't expect a total eye transplant surgery to become a possibility in the near future. A true transplant of the eye would require severing and reattaching the optic nerve, which is beyond the current capabilities of surgeons.


Facts about the Cornea and Cornea Disease. National Eye Institute. January 2011. http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/cornealdisease/#4

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