The new challenge of corneal transplantation in South Africa
The original publication is available at http://www.samj.org.za
Modern corneal transplantation is internationally accepted as highly successful and cost effective. The avascularity of the cornea puts it in a relatively immune-privileged position, and complications due to graft rejection can be handled more effectively than in other solid organs. Modern microsurgery, which has the ability to manage postoperative astigmatism, has turned corneal transplant surgery into a most gratifying procedure as far as visual acuity is concerned. Corneal graft survival is often lifelong, with most patients not needing topical or systemic immunosuppression for longer than several months postoperatively. Patients are frequently given a new lease on life after sight-restoring corneal transplantation.