Corneal transplants (grafts) are assumed to be very successful, but until now the procedure has not been fully examined. A survey of nearly five thousand patients, 4499 to be precise, was done. After a year 92 per cent of transplants were deemed to be successful. An astonishing 1,395 patients had failed results after seven years.
Plain rejection was the major detrimental cause in a third of failed operations. Infection impacted on 18 per cent, with glaucoma affecting 9 per cent. A worrying point is that 10 per cent of recipients did not have any improvement in vision and only a fifth of these experienced rejection. Indeed, some had poorer vision.
It seems too much time is spent on lessening rejection and not enough time is targeted at improving overall patient outcomes. Having to do the operation again is a real tragedy for a patient. He/she would not be in a positive frame of mind after a failure the first time.