Traveling to Indianapolis for Surgery & FAQ
The Cornea Research Foundation works in partnership with Price Vision Group to continue the development of improved cornea transplant techniques and post-operative care. Many who come choose to be involved in research in some way, even if it's just allowing their data to be added to our Cornea Transplant Database. Read on to learn more about how to schedule your visit.
"Making the trip to Indianapolis was the best decision I could have made for my vision. I am so thankful to have had a DMEK transplant by one of the pioneers in cornea transpant advancements." - Robert
It's easier than you think:
Surprisingly, 44% of transplant patients that come for surgery with Price Vision Group live outside of Indiana. In fact, visitors have traveled from nearly every state and several countries for small incision transplants—more of these surgeries are performed here than any other center in the world. In an effort to cater to traveling patients, we’ve developed partnerships with local hotels that provide a unique experience for those who have just had eye surgery. From start to finish most transplant recipients are only with us for 8 days. Below the schedule is explained in detail.
“From the first consultation through the last exam, your transplant process is a well oiled machine. I appreciated the individualized attention given by the staff and the way each of my concerns were addressed." - Susan
Why should I schedule with Price Vision Group?
You probably have surgeons close to you that perform cornea transplants and may wonder why people are telling you to contact Price Vision Group. To put it simply, you deserve the best and most advanced surgery options that will provide you with the best possible vision. For over 30 years, Price Vision Group's emphasis has been to improve cornea transplant techniques and patient outcomes. So much so that Dr. Price started the Foundation just 5 years after opening his practice to advance treatment methods on a larger scale. As true cornea specialists, Price Vision surgeons offer advanced treatment options that are unavailable in most parts of the United States.
Where should I stay?
The Foundation recommends Homewood Suites-Indianapolis at the Crossing! In addition to supporting our fundraising efforts, we hear great things from patients who stay with them. Not only do they offer great rates for our guests (mention you are with us to get a group rate) they offer a complimentary shuttle to Price Vision Group, a complimentary "Suite Start" breakfast and "Welcome Home" evening appretizers and are pet-friendly. Located 2.5 miles away near Keystone at the Crossing Mall. 2016 PVG/CRFA Rate: $104. Call 317-843-0064 or email Matt Shafer, their director of sales.
Another hotel option is Staybridge Suites. They also offer a complimentary continental breakfast but do not offer shuttle service just 2.2 miles away to the north. PVG/CRFA Rate: $109. Call 317-582-1500.
Luxury accommodations are available at Conrad Indianapolis. Call 317-713-5000.
What is a cornea transplant exactly and how is your treatment different than what others may offer?
There are multiple types of transplants depending on the disease that is causing vision problems. For example, those with Fuchs’ dystrophy only have a problem with the back layer of the cornea and require only a single cell layer from donor cornea in a procedure known as DMEK. For those with conditions such as Keratoconus where the disease only affects the front part of the cornea, only that diseased portion is replaced in a procedure known as DALK. Both of these advanced surgical procedures are more sophisticated and provide much faster recovery than a standard full thickness transplant known as a Penetrating Keratoplasty (PK) where all layers of the cornea are removed and replaced with donor tissue. For more information on cornea transplants, click here.
When can I schedule?
As you can imagine, certain times of the year are more booked out than others. Sometimes you can be scheduled for surgery quickly while other times the wait may be a bit longer. Email Price Vision Group to inquire about scheduling.
I’m from out of town, how does it work?
Those who are considering a transplant with Price Vision Group have two options for surgery:
Consultation visit, then Surgery visit: Travel to Indianapolis for your initial in-depth consultation. Schedule your surgery while you are here and return to Indianapolis for your surgery a few weeks or even months later.
Consultation and Surgery: Travel to Indianapolis for your consultation and have your surgery during the same trip to minimize travel expenses. Cornea transplants take place on Mondays and Wednesdays. If you choose this option here’s your appointment schedule:
Day 1: Comprehensive Exam - You will arrive in the morning or afternoon for your first comprehensive eye exam and surgery consultation. This appointment typically takes about 3 hours and includes detailed evaluations with multiple ways of imaging your eyes. Patients often say it’s the most in-depth exam they’ve ever had.
Day 2: Free day - Enjoy the city, see the sites! This additional day allows the team to address any hiccups with insurance and to perform any calculations necessary if you opt to have cataract surgery at the same time as your cornea transplant (as patients often do).
Day 3: Surgery Day - You’ll report for your outpatient surgery at the Surgery Center which is located in the same building as Price Vision Group. The surgery will last 45-60 minutes. After surgery, you will remain lying down for about an hour in the Surgery Center. Afterwards, you will visit Price Vision Group’s clinic for a quick check of your eye pressure. You’ll be advised to lay down on your back as much as possible for the rest of the day which helps your new graft to attach.
Day 4: 1st Post Surgery Exam - You’ll come in for your One Day Post Operative Appointment for about 40 minutes. You’ll be advised to lay down on your back as much as possible for the rest of the day.
Day 5: 2nd Post Surgery Exam - You’ll come in for your Two Day Post Operative Appointment which will last about an hour. You are generally able to reduce the length of time spent lying on your back to just a few hours after this appointment.
Day 6 & 7: (or days 2 and 3, depending on whether you opt to have your surgery on Monday or Wednesday) you will have a weekend to enjoy the city either after your Consultation Exam or after your 2nd Post Surgery Exam.
Day 8: Final office visit. Most patients are released to go home at this time for continued follow up and co-management with your local doctor.*
*Please note that this schedule is typical of most of our patients however sometimes patients do need to stay a bit longer to ensure the graft is well attached prior to returning home. Some patients are able to return home after their 5 day post-op appointment with follow up appointments with a local doctor.
What are my transportation options?
- Many patients choose to travel by car if they are within a 6 hour drive. This allows you the flexibility of leaving as soon as your appointment is finished and enjoying the city on your free days.
- Many direct flights are available and the new Indianapolis International Airport is easy to use and access. It has been named the best airport in North America in 2013, 2012 and 2010 by Airports Council International, over 1.2 million square feet in size and is rated #1 by travelers in a J.D. Power & Associates poll. Car rentals are available or simply take a taxi to one of our hotel partners that offer free shuttle services to and from your Price Vision Group appointments.
How can I make the most of my trip?
Explore Indianapolis—there are many exciting events each month, as well as unique restaurants and cultural experiences to enjoy! Check out www.visitindy.com to learn more about our great city and see upcoming events.
Is it covered by insurance?
In order to determine if your surgery will be covered by your insurance, you would need to contact our partner, Price Vision Group.
What if I can’t return to Price Vision Group for follow up appointments?
Since so many patients travel from afar for surgery, an excellent co-management plan was developed with follow-up instructions for your local doctor. This means you can have your surgery in Indianapolis and see your local doctor for follow-up appointments. Price Vision Group will coordinate with their office to ensure they are equipped with the information they need to care for your transplant.
I am ready to set up my exam or have additional questions. What do I need to do?
To schedule your visit or have your question answered please contact Melanie or Darcie via email or call 317-814-2847 or 317-814-2943.
We look forward to helping you improve your vision!