LAS VEGAS, NV--(Marketwire - Dec 5, 2012) - According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), eye surgeons performed over 42,600 corneal transplants last year. With over 3.6 million people in the U.S. suffering from significant visual impairment, Dr. Aaron Waite and the New Eyes center for eye care in Las Vegas say corneal transplants are quickly becoming a popular treatment for treating corneal disease and successfully reducing vision loss. Dr. Waite says thanks to the emergence of two innovative procedures, penetrating keratoplasty (PK) and Descemet's Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK), patients are now able to experience improved vision and a more comfortable daily life through a corneal transplant.
Dr. Waite and the founder of the New Eyes of Las Vegas practice Dr. Helga Pizio, a cataract surgeon in Las Vegas, say corneal transplantation is designed to counteract the development of corneal disease, or the swelling, scarring, or infection of the cornea due to some form of abrasion. Used in cases of corneal scarring, Dr. Waite says the PK procedure is considered a full thickness corneal transplant and may take up to six months or a year for patients to receive the full effects. On the other hand, he says the DSEK procedure is common in cases of corneal swelling due to failure of the inside layer of the cornea. Dr. Waite adds that DSEK requires only a partial thickness transplant and has a much faster recovery than PK.
In order to decide which procedure is right for the patient, Drs. Waite and Pizio say they conduct a thorough examination in the office, during which they take into account the severity of the corneal damage as well as the patient's eye structure. They say the best candidates are those whose quality of vision may potentially increase with surgery, although this decision should only be made between the patient and an experienced, fellowship-trained corneal surgeon. As with any surgical procedure, Dr. Waite says there are some risks associated with corneal transplantation such as infection or rejection of the transplant; however, special drops can be used daily to help decrease the chance of these occurring.
"The risks from corneal transplant are rare but can potentially be serious," says Dr. Waite. "With the potential for increased vision though, most patients feel it is worth these risks to go ahead with surgery."
Following the procedure, Dr. Waite says complete healing can usually take several months, and vision can seem blurry during the recovery process. Regardless of whether patients are looking for a corneal transplant or cataract surgery, he encourages patients to consult with a qualified and dedicated practice in order to ensure they receive the highest quality care and the most effective recovery.
"Every eye is different and has a different rate of healing," he says. "It is important to discuss all options with your eye doctor and set realistic expectations for your treatment."
About New Eyes of Las Vegas
Founded in 2008, the New Eyes of Las Vegas team is composed of founder and cataract surgeon Dr. Helga Pizio, corneal surgery specialist Dr. Aaron Waite, and optometrist Dr. Jeffrey Austin. Through Fellowship training, board-certification, and a vast wealth of experience, their practice has sought to provide patients with the latest treatments and the safest, most comfortable care possible. The New Eyes of Las Vegas physicians are specifically trained in all areas of eye care, from cataract surgery and LASIK to advanced cornea care.
With several locations throughout the Southern Nevada area, New Eyes can be reached at (702) 485-5000. The practice can also be contacted online via the website neweyeslasvegas.com.