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Corneal Transplant Surgeries

What are the different layers of the cornea?

The cornea is the clear front wall of the eye, similar to a watch crystal. Functionally, the cornea has 3 main layers. All layers are clear and must be so to focus light properly. The outer 10% of the cornea, the epithelium, is the protective skin layer that has sensation. It tells you to blink when your eyes are dry or if you get something in it. The epithelium protects the stroma from infection, scarring, drying out, and other potential harm. Just like the outer layer of your skin, the corneal epithelium sheds and regenerates itself every week. The new cells are grown by corneal epithelial stem cells. Therefore, an eye with an area of bad or opaque epithelium that blocks vision likely does not need a transplant to remove to opacity. Instead of the opacity typically only needs to be removed so that new healthy and clear epithelium can grow in (superficial keratectomy or SK).