Cornea Transplant Tracking--how we got our start.
Since 1988, we have been tracking long-term cornea transplant patient outcomes. We now have records on more than 8,000 patients in what is known as the Cornea Transplant Database, the largest such database in the Americas.
This database has assisted in making many discoveries by allowing us to see trends—what’s working well and what’s not working so well, so we can continually refine surgical techniques and patient care resulting in better outcomes. We use this database to assist us in identifying areas in which more research is needed. Here are just a few examples illustrating how this database has proven invaluable:
- Dr. Price was an early pioneer of small incision transplants (DSEK and DMEK). Our database helped prove that these newer methods are safer and provide much faster visual recovery than full thickness transplants, which had been the previous standard of care.
- We showed that cataract surgery can be combined safely with DSEK or DMEK thereby allowing patients to have cataract and corneal problems treated at the same time. A single surgery is safer, easier for people, and more cost effective than separate surgeries.
- Many of our patients have conditions that cause both corneas to go bad. We’ve demonstrated that we can safely treat the second eye with DMEK just one week after the first so that people can get back to work and resume daily activities sooner.
- Transplant rejection has long been a leading reason for transplant failure. Our data has proven that DMEK has a far lower risk of being rejected by the recipient than earlier transplant techniques.
- Taking advantage of the low risk of rejection with DMEK (<1% risk), we’ve shown that we can safely reduce the strength and dosing frequency of anti-rejection medication and reduce medication-associated side effects.
Our proven results are instrumental in convincing transplant surgeons to adopt these newer techniques and improve outcomes for patients worldwide.