As a cornea specialist in a tertiary referral centre like the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital we treat many different types of corneal conditions including keratoconus, corneal infection, corneal dystrophy and chronic external eye disease.
There are many conditions in which the damage occurs within the cornea and the only way to restore clarity is by means of a corneal transplant. Modern corneal transplant involves removing the part of the cornea which is damaged and preserving the healthy part. For example patients with keratoconus and corneal scar we would often aim to perform a deep lamellar keratoplasty to remove the majority of the front of the cornea but preserve the back layer. On the other hand patients with cloudy cornea due to corneal decompensation will often require an endothelial transplant which aims to repair the cornea by transplanting a new back surface (endothelium). In patients with irreparable damage to the cornea a full thickness transplant (penetrating keratoplasty) would be the preferred option.
Pterygium is a small piece of skin (conjunctiva) that has grown over onto the cornea. It is more common in patients who have been exposed to a lot of UV light either through work or the environment. Pterygium can often be successfully removed by a simple excision with an autoconjunctival graft.