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Corneal Transplant

The cornea is the clear window at the front of the eye, which helps focus light onto the retina. Diseases of the cornea either result in loss of corneal clarity (e.g. Fuchs’ endothelial dystrophy) or distortion of corneal shape (e.g. keratoconus), both of which result in reduced vision.

When diseases of the cornea cannot be managed by less invasive measures, a corneal transplant maybe required. This involves replacing the damaged cornea with donated corneal tissue.

Dr Robaei has advanced fellowship training in corneal surgery from the prestigious Moorfields Eye Hospital, in London. She offers both full-thickness (penetrating keratoplasty – PK) and lamellar techniques (deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty – DALK, and endothelial keratoplasty – EK), depending on the diagnosis and patient suitability.
Penetrating Keratoplasty (PK)
Penetrating Keratoplasty (PK)

Penetrating Keratoplasty (PK)

If the full thickness of the cornea is affected by disease then a full-thickness transplant is performed. The surgery is performed under general or local anaesthetic, the central portion of the patient’s damaged cornea is removed, and a donor cornea is stitched into place with tiny stitches which cannot be seen or felt.
Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK)
Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK)

Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK)

DALK is a modern surgical technique where the patient’s outer and middle corneal layers are removed, and replaced with a donor cornea providing the patient with a partial-thickness corneal transplant. This technique has the advantage of far less corneal graft rejection than a traditional full-thickness corneal transplant.
Endothelial Keratoplasty (EK)
Endothelial Keratoplasty (EK)

Endothelial Keratoplasty (EK)

Using a keyhole incision the inner layer of the patient’s cornea (known as the endothelium) is removed and replaced with the endothelium from a donor cornea. This procedure is most commonly performed for Fuchs’ Endothelial Dystrophy, and carries a number of advantages over a traditional full-thickness corneal transplant, including much faster visual recovery and patient comfort, as well as less potential problems post-operatively.

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All surgical procedures carry some risk. The information provided here is for general educational purposes only. Please contact Forest Eye Surgery to find out if a corneal transplant is appropriate for your individual situation.
Dr Dana Robaei - Sydney Ophthalmologist

Dr Dana Robaei

Ophthalmic Surgeon MBBS(Hons) BSc(med) MPH PhD FRANZCO

Dr Dana Robaei is a consultant ophthalmic surgeon, with fellowship training in Cataract Surgery and Corneal Transplantation from Moorfields Eye Hospital, and Medical Retina from Sydney Eye Hospital.

She has extensively published in the national and international ophthalmic literature, and presented at international ophthalmology conferences.

She specialises in Cataract Surgery, Pterygium Surgery, Macular Degeneration and all aspects of comprehensive ophthalmology.

Dr Robaei is committed to clinical and surgical excellence, with the aim of providing the highest possible standard of care based on the latest available evidence, in combination with effective communication to patients and their referrers.

Professional Qualifications


  • Graduated from UNSW with Honours, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery
  • Master of Public Health, UNSW
  • PhD in medicine (Visual impairment in Australian School Children)
  • Advances specialty training in ophthalmology and ophthalmic surgery at Sydney Eye Hospital
  • Subspecialty fellowship training in cataract surgery and corneal transplantation at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London UK
  • Clinical Senior Lecturer in ophthalmology, University of Sydney
  • Consultant Ophthalmologist, Westmead Hospital
  • Director of Forest Eye Surgery, Frenchs Forest