1. Health
Send to a Friend via Email

Is an Eye Transplant Possible?

By

Updated February 09, 2011

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

© ADAM
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?
Answer:

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.

Sources:

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

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Surgery
  4. Procedures A-Z
  5. Eye Transplant - Eye Transplant Surgery

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.