How much does corneal transplant cost in India?

March 24, 2022 0
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Did you know that almost 10% of corneal blindness can be treated with corneal implants? This miraculous treatment, also known as keratoplasty, replaces the damaged cornea with that of the corneal tissue of a donor. 

The cornea enables clear vision and is the large white dome-shaped surface of the eye. Along with damaged corneal replacement, corneal transplantations relieve pain associated with corneal infections and damage. Some of the reasons to perform a cornea transplant include:

  • Corneal ulcers or Infectious keratosis
  • Corneal scarring
  • Hereditary conditions like Fuch’s dystrophy
  • An infection, injury, or swelling of the cornea
  • Thinning and breakdown of the cornea
  • Previous transplant graft rejection

Corneal transplant surgeries are highly successful in restoring vision. However, like any other surgical procedure, carry a minute iota of risk or complications. Nevertheless, reinforcing an indispensable part of your eye is worth taking the risk as its success rate in prominent eye clinics stands around 95%. 

With progressive technology in organ transplantation, corneal transplantation has developed over the years. And the corneal transplant cost in India has also become cost-effective with no compromise on the quality of the transplantation process. 

This article explores corneal transplant costs in India while delving into the various factors affecting its pricing and more.  

Corneal Transplant Cost in India 

The human eye is embedded with a natural lens, allowing the light to enter and help us to see. The eye lens is covered by a transparent, dome-shaped, white covering called the cornea. The cornea protects the eyes from dirt, germs, and harmful radiation. The cornea also helps focus the light entering the eye, enabling clear vision.  

The damage or infection of the corneal region obstructs the path of light and thus can disrupt normal vision. Cornea transplants can effectively help re-establish the focussing of light while restoring vision. During the corneal transplantation surgery, the eye specialists replace the damaged or infected cornea with donor corneal tissues.

The cost of a cornea transplant in India ranges from Rs. 50,000 to 1,50,00 per eye (sometimes inclusive of the eye checkups and consultation). The corneal transplant cost depends on the city, hospital, and type of corneal transplant performed. 

Types of Corneal Transplant and their Cost 

The cornea is a five-layered tissue. Sometimes, partial or the entire thick cornea is replaced depending on the condition and extent of the damage. Thus, deciding the type of corneal transplants.

  • Penetrating keratoplasty (PK): It is a full-thickness corneal replacement surgery where all the layers of the cornea are removed and replaced with the donor corneal tissue. This conventional method requires a longer healing time while is considered for significant bulging or damage of the cornea.
  • Deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK): In DALK or Partial Thickness Corneal Transplant, the middle and outer damaged corneal layers are replaced with corneal tissues. This procedure treats corneal scarring that has not affected the inner layers.  
  •  Endothelial keratoplasty (EK): There are two types of EK’s. 

One is Descemet’s stripping endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK or DSAEK), where one-third thick cornea is removed and replaced. 

Second is Descemet’s membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK), where the endothelium and the Descemet’s membrane are replaced with that of the donor. 

DSAEK involves thicker corneal replacement than DMEK. DMEK is more complicated and needs finesse but assures quick recovery. A most preferred option for hereditary Fuch’s dystrophy and only inner corneal damage. 

The overall corneal transplant cost in India starts from Rs. 50,000 averaging nearly Rs. 70,000 for each eye. And the maximum cost for cornea replacement of a single eye can go up to Rs. 1,50,000.  

Factors Affecting the Cost of Corneal Transplant in India

Corneal transplantation is a remunerative and effective procedure. The corneal transplant cost in India is subjected to change based on some of the influencing factors such as;

  1. Consultation fees of the doctor
  2. Admission fees of the hospital
  3. Hospitalization charges
  4. Type of donor tissue replaced
  5. Type of the keratoplasty performed
  6. The extent of infection and damage of the cornea
  7. The associated medical condition of the patient (if any)
  8. Post operational complications involved
  9. Lab tests or examinations- X-rays, ECG, blood tests, and others.

FAQs 

  • What is the recovery time for a cornea transplant?

Generally, corneal transplants are known to give faster results. It may take at least a year to recover completely from cornea transplantation. However, one can experience improved vision and resume their daily activities apart from heavy weight lifting or strenuous activities after one or two weeks post corneal replacement surgery. 

  • How long does a replaced cornea last?

The cornea transplant surgery is quite effective in restoring a clear vision. It is observed that a replaced cornea can last for a lifetime, provided the donor perfectly matches the recipient. 

  • What is the success rate of a cornea transplant surgery in India?

The success rate of a cornea transplant depends on some of the factors like:

  • Age of the patient
  • Associated medical conditions (if any)
  • Experience and expertise of the surgeon
  • Type of surgery performed

However, keeping all the above factors in view, the top eye clinics in India have a success rate of nearly 95%. 

  • Will there be any discomfort after cornea replacement surgery?

Post corneal replacement surgery, the eyes may get red, irritating, and sensitive to light for a while. The patient may have slight discharge or discomfort for a few days after surgery that is manageable with medications and pain killers. 

Take Away 

The cornea is a crucial part of the eye that focuses the light enabling proper vision. The damaged or injured cornea can disrupt light and visual impairment. Owing to the advancement in technology and eye treatments, cornea transplants have come a long way from conventional methods of all-layer corneal replacement to the new cutting-edge procedures of deep lamellar transplant involving expertise and finesse. 

The cost of a corneal transplant in India ranges anywhere between Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 1,50,000 and are subject to differ due to various reasons. Dr. Deepa Gupta is a highly experienced eye specialist in lamellar transplant surgeries like DSEK and DALK. Her comprehensive approach to the condition and state-of-the-art technology she endures will help you retrieve improved vision at affordable pricing.  

FAQs

What is the Cost of a Corneal Transplant?

A healthy cornea is vital for good vision, and if it is damaged, it can become swollen, scarred, and severely affected, distorting the vision and leading to vision loss. Whether the cornea damage is due to injury, infection, or disease, it can be treated effectively with a cornea transplant. For those who can’t see well because of this problem, a corneal transplant or keratoplasty is the only perfect option to restore their vision. It is a corrective surgery, known as keratoplasty, that removes the existing cornea and replaces it with another. The procedure effectively brings back vision, lessens the pain, and improves the look of the damaged cornea.

The cost of corneal transplant in India varies and depends upon many factors like the severity of the condition, type of procedure, preparation of tissue grafts, surgeon’s experience, and many other additional costs associated with the surgery. The overall corneal transplant treatment cost in India ranges between Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 1,50,000 for each eye. However, the cost can be reduced depending on your health insurance coverage.

What Factors Determine the Cost of DSAEK Surgery?

DSAEK is a type of cornea surgery that involves thicker corneal replacement. It is considered a relatively new procedure that has revolutionized the treatment of disorders in most layers of the cornea. DSAEK can be performed in people with complex ocular anatomy, i.e., prior corneal transplant, history of glaucoma, or if they have prior trauma. The best part is that this type of surgery has easier post-operative recovery, and patients have a good quality of vision afterward, as many attain a vision of 20/30 or even better. However, many factors determine the overall cost of the DSAEK surgery.

The overall charges for DSAEK Surgery cost or any keratoplasty range from Rs 50,000 and above. If other procedures are also required, charges may go up to Rs 70,000 to Rs 1,50,000 per eye. However, it is vital to understand the actual cost of the DSAEK, which can depend on many factors, such as the type of transplant, the specific healthcare facility chosen, and any additional medical expenses. To get the most accurate pricing information, it’s recommended that you consult with the best eye specialist, as costs may differ between providers.

What’s the recovery time for DSAEK vs. Traditional Transplant?

DSAEK eye surgery is a type of corneal Transplant surgery in which most of the cornea is replaced by preserving the thin posterior membrane of the eye, i.e., The Descemet membrane and endothelium. It is the best alternative to PKP. However, DSAEK Corneal Transplant is more complex and challenging than other corneal surgeries. The recovery time post-DSAEK can vary from patient to patient and depends upon various factors; however, most patients notice an improvement in vision within several weeks to months. Generally, all types of corneal transplants are known for faster results. It may take a year to recover entirely from corneal transplantation. People can resume their normal activities in one to two weeks. They just have to avoid heavy weight lifting or strenuous exercises post-surgery.


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