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Hi, my name is Steve and I live in the North East of England in the UK. When I was 15 I was diagnosed with an eye condition called Keratoconus and on 22nd August 2011 I had a DALK corneal graft on my right eye. This blog will chart my progress and hopefully give everyone an idea of what it’s like to actually experience a graft. I suppose I’m just trying to make them seem a little less scary and give anyone thinking of a graft an idea of what to expect. Happy reading!

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7 Comments
  1. Sanders Arampamoorthy permalink

    Hey Steve,

    I am 21 years of age, and I was diagnosed with “significant” KC in my right eye and consequently, I have been told that I will have to undergo a corneal transplant (DALK). Naturally enough, I am feeling a bit nervous, I’ve been placed on the waiting list and told that it will take months. I’ve recently graduated and I am currently looking for employment, but I was wondering as to how much time off you took from work/education following the procedure. And furthermore, I just wanted to say a big thanks for your insight by sharing your experience,.I hope you’re doing well and that you are happy with your eyesight.

    Sanders.

    • HI Sanders,

      Thanks for your comment, and I’m sorry to hear about your KC. I was on the waiting list for exactly three months from first telling my consultant I’d like to go ahead with the graft, to having it done. For the first few days after the graft you do feel a bit overly cautious about your movements etc, as you’re told not to bend down or do any heavy lifting in case it strains the eye. However, after a week I felt confident enough to start working again. i’m quite fortunate in that I run my own business, so I was able to a bit flexible with when I worked, but I would say that after two weeks, all going well, you’d be able to return to work/ education.

      The only other issue is the quality of the vision in the eye after the operation. It does take a while for the vision to improve and you can’t wear contact lenses in the eye for the first few months while it’s healing, so if you’re used to wearing contacts in that eye you might find the vision a bit strange at first. The eyesight in my eye has definitely improved, but I know that it’s going to take another few months to get the vision to the stage I’d like it. My left eye has really good vision though, so I’m able to function perfectly normally with the vision from that.

      Good luck with your operation! I hope it all goes well. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my experience, it’s that the whole thing is nowhere near as scary or complicated as i thought. After a week I was just living my normal life and there have been no complications. I definitely have no regrets.

  2. Rajesh permalink

    Hi Steve

    I share a similiar eye history as you, I have been diagnoised with kc when I was 16 and in 2010 i went through Intacs and C3R in both eyes , but the results are not impressive. I went through DALK in left eye last month and waiting for the vision to improve. Just wanted to hear from you how long it took for your eye to become completly functional and when to get the other eye also operated.

    • Hi, thanks for reading the blog! I’m afraid it’s taking quite a while for the vision in my eye to improve. It’s now been five months and I can read The fourth line on the chart, but everything is still quite blurry. The aim is to slowly start to get the eye focussing and working properly again, so last month I was prescribed with glasses to improve the vision. It’s not a major improvement but it does help slightly. My consultant says the vision won’t be fully improved until the stitches are removed, which won’t happen for another five or six months, so altogether it will be about a year before i know what the vision will actually be like. It’s quite a long process, but i kind of expected that before I had the op. I hope everything went ok with your op and good luck with the recovery.

  3. Phillip permalink

    Hi there Steve,

    I have really enjoyed reading your blog. I too suffer from severe Keratoconus in both eyes but more severely in my right eye! Im 30. It was noticed at a routine opticians appointment in June 2012 and was referred through my GP to my local hospital in September 2012 who confirmed it as Keratoconus. I had an eye scan as well as was referred to the contact lens clinic at hospital where I had two appointments. On the last one she tried fitting it to my right eye I absolutely hated it and my eye only tolerated it for a few minutes. I was seen by my consultant at the same time who said we have no alternative but to proceed with surgery. I’m due to have a DALK procedure performed next Thursday 28th march 2013 at my local hospital but have been informed as you rightly say that it could result in a PK. I’ve also been told that I’m likely to have 16 to 17 stitches in my right eye permanently and be on eye drops permanently as well! Obviously I’m a very anxious patient and have been reading up on everything from procedures to aftercare to the anaesthetic procedure as well as I’m having a general anaesthetic, but wondering whether this has made me more anxious!
    Hope everything’s going well for you
    Best wishes Phillip x

    • Hi Philip,

      Sorry it’s took so long to reply! I hope everything went ok with your graft. How have you been finding it? Steve

  4. Rahul permalink

    Hi Steve,
    This is rahul I had my dalk surgery on 28th may . I am bit worried about future complications and quality of life. How you are doing now . How about your vision?
    Thanks,
    Rahul.

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