Cornea Surgery

Board-certified and fellowship-trained cornea & anterior segment surgery specialist Dr. Asha Bala has expertise in the evaluation and management of corneal conditions. These include, but are not limited to:

• Corneal Dystrophies (Fuchs, Anterior Basement Membrane, and others)
• Corneal Infections & Ulcers
• Corneal Scars
• Keratoconus, Pellucid Marginal Degeneration, Post-Refractive Ectasia
• Astigmatism Management
• Pterygium & Pingueculum
• Chemical Burn
• Corneal Swelling
• Corneal Neovascularization
• Contact Lens Overwear

The cornea is the clear, dome-shaped “window” of the eye. It consists of multiple layers, including the superficial epithelial layer, the middle stromal layer, and the innermost endothelial layer. The endothelial layer contains pumps that pump fluid out of the cornea to maintain a clear, compact structure. The cornea plays an important role in the focusing of light and image formation. Abnormalities involving any or all of the layers of the cornea can lead to reduced or blurry vision, optical irregularities, and pain.

We have state-of-the-art equipment to allow corneal mapping and imaging. In addition to medical treatments, Dr. Bala specializes in the surgical management of corneal disease, including corneal transplantation, Boston keratoprosthesis placement, corneal inlay surgery, and collagen crosslinking.

Corneal Inlay Surgery
Inlays are small devices that are inserted into pockets in the cornea. Different inlays have different purposes. Some inlays can be used to provide near vision. Other inlays, such as the INTACS, are used in the treatment of keratoconus and other corneal ectasias. The insertion of the inlay flattens the cornea, reducing irregular astigmatism and providing a more regular corneal shape. This can improve vision or, in certain cases, allow an easier contact lens fit to achieve better vision.

Corneal Transplantation
In corneal transplant surgery, a patient’s cornea is replaced with a donor cornea. This can involve the replacement of a part of the patient’s cornea or the full thickness cornea. There are variations of corneal transplant surgery, including penetrating keratoplasty, deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty, endothelial keratoplasty, and keratoprosthesis placement.

In penetrating keratoplasty (PK), a patient’s central, full-thickness cornea is removed and replaced with a new, clear donor cornea. Deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK) involves the replacement of the front 2/3 of the cornea with a donor. Endothelial keratoplasty involves transplantation of the back layer, or endothelium, of the cornea. This can be done with either Descemet Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK/DSAEK) or Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK). Patients who have had multiple corneal graft failures may be candidates for a keratoprosthesis, a device designed to hold and support donor tissue in the eye. The decision of which surgery is best for each patient is based on the anatomical location of the abnormality and the corneal condition being treated. Dr. Bala has extensive experience in all of these surgical techniques and will recommend the best surgical approach for your condition at your consultation visit.

What To Expect At Your Visit
At your consultation, you will undergo a comprehensive examination including a full ocular exam and pertinent specialized testing, including such things corneal mapping, corneal thickness, and ocular surface evaluation. Dr. Bala will perform a detailed examination and discuss all findings with you in order to come up with a therapeutic plan that meets your goals and expectations.

Call 818-906-2929 today for your corneal consultation visit with Dr. Bala.