The cornea bank established at Hacettepe University Hospitals Eye Diseases Department started to actively serve with Prof. Dr. Murat İrkeç, Assoc. Dr. Sibel Kocabeyoğlu, 3 certified cornea technicians who completed their training and 1 laboratory supervisor. We believe that the cornea bank established under our organization will be an important contribution to our country by assisting in reducing the length of long waiting lists and the victimization of the patients. In order for patients to benefit from corneal transplantation, they are evaluated in our cornea unit and if they are suitable for transplantation, they will be put on our bank's list for their operation.
Corneal Transplantation (Keratoplasty)
Corneal transplantation is the removal of corneal tissue that has lost its transparency or shape, and the placement of healthy corneal tissue, removed from a deceased donor. The 'eye transplant' statement used by people is actually the transplant of the corneal tissue, which is the transparent layer in the front of the eye, which is referred to as corneal transplantation.
Purpose and Necessary Situations of Corneal Transplantation
The transparent part that forms the visual function, which is one of the most important tissues of the anterior part of the eye, is called the cornea. Corneal texture may become blurred due to stain formation or oedema (swelling) in the tissue for various reasons (after keratoconus, trauma / injury, past cornea infections, some congenital corneal diseases, cataract surgery) and may cause permanent loss of sight by losing its transparency. Corneal transplantation is performed in these situations to increase vision, to remove stigma, to preserve eye integrity, or to reduce pain, if there is any.
Purpose and Function of the Eye Bank
There are 38 cornea banks serving in our country today, hospitals cannot perform corneal transplantation independently without the cornea distribution of cornea banks according to laws and regulations. Hospitals without a cornea bank are connected to the appropriate banks by the Ministry of Health and can supply corneas this way. Cornea banks are obliged to take corneal tissue from the dead, store it in the appropriate medium, determine whether the tissue received is suitable for transplantation, and distribute the tissue to transplant centres. For this purpose, a specially trained cornea bank manager, at least 2 cornea technicians, and 1 laboratory officer must work in the bank.
The corneas taken from the dead that are stored in special nutrient solutions and is determined whether they are sufficient for transplantation after examining the cell characteristics and with special microscopes in the eye banks.
Conditions Where Cornea Transplantation Is Not Useful and Rejection of Tissue
If visual acuity is reduced or lost due to reasons not related to the cornea, patients will not benefit from surgery even if the cornea is transplanted. At the head of these cases are severe eye injuries resulting from retina (optic nerve layer of the eye) and optic nerve (optic nerve) diseases, loss of vision due to advanced glaucoma (eye sickness disease), eye lacerations and eye contraction. As in other transplant procedures, there is also a risk of rejection in corneal transplantation. However, thanks to the advantage of being a vein-free tissue, the operation with the least rejection between organ transplants is the corneal transport. In order to reduce the likelihood of rejection, patients are treated for a long time with drops and systemic treatment if necessary.