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Corneal Surgery

Fuerst Eye Center

Board-Certified Ophthalmologists & Eye Surgeons located in West Covina, CA & Glendale / La Canada, CA

For corneal surgery, it’s important to choose a skilled provider like David Fuerst, MD or Nicole Fuerst, MD. They are two of the few surgeons who specialize in the management and treatment of corneal disease. If you need treatment for corneal conditions like keratitis or corneal dystrophy, you should contact Fuerst Eye Center. Call the office in Glendale or West Covina, California, or use the online booking tool to request a cornea surgery consultation at any time.

Corneal Surgery Q & A

What eye conditions affect the cornea?

The cornea is the clear dome over the front of the eye that processes light and allows for clear vision. The cornea stays clear by having a healthy endothelium – the inside layer of the cornea – which pumps fluid out of the cornea. Any damage or abnormality that affects the cornea can cause vision changes as well as other physical effects, such as headaches and nausea. 

Some common conditions that affect the cornea include:

  • Dry eye: the eyes don’t produce enough lubrication
  • Keratitis: corneal inflammation, usually from infection
  • Keratoconus: thinning, bulging, and scarring of the cornea
  • Corneal dystrophy: abnormal opacities in the cornea
  • Corneal swelling: thickening of the cornea

Other injuries or illnesses can also affect the cornea, including infections, allergies, or chemical exposure. Many corneal conditions resolve on their own or can be treated with noninvasive treatments like eye drops. However, more complex conditions may require surgery.

What are some examples of corneal surgery?

The experienced, fellowship-trained corneal surgeons at Fuerst Eye Center provide leading treatments for cornea conditions to help restore your visual health. Corneal surgery is custom-tailored to your needs. 

Their expertise covers a variety of surgical techniques, including:

  • Laser treatment: phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK) can reshape the cornea and remove scar tissue
  • Intacs®: arc-shaped implants that improve the wearability of contacts
  • Collagen cross-linking (CXL): treatment for keratoconus using UV light to strengthen eye tissue
  • Cornea transplant surgery: surgery to remove damaged corneal tissue and replace it with healthy donor tissue
  • Superficial keratectomy: an ocular resurfacing procedure to smooth the surface of the eye
  • Amniotic membrane grafting: placement of amniotic membrane onto the cornea to help the cornea heal
  • Artificial cornea surgery: an alternative to cornea transplant using an artificial prosthetic cornea

Many methods of each type of surgery are also available, particularly for cornea transplants.

What types of cornea transplant surgeries are available?

If your corneas are damaged beyond repair, and conservative methods don’t help, your surgeon may suggest personalized surgical repair with one of the following methods:

  • Descemet stripping endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK): selective partial removal and transplant of the deeper layers of the cornea (including the stroma)
  • Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK): selective partial removal and transplant of the deeper layers of the cornea (not including the stroma)
  • Deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK): removal and transplant of the front of the cornea, leaving healthy layers intact
  • Penetrating keratoplasty (PKP): a full-thickness corneal transplant used to treat scarring and other diseases that affect the entire cornea


If you’re ready to reclaim your eyesight with the expertise of highly trained, skilled ophthalmologists, contact Fuerst Eye Center by phone, or you can request a consultation online. 

Corneal Surgery Videos