Post-Transplant Mega Update

The one where I get you up to speed Post-transplant

Published on May 8th, 2018

The deed is done. I have a new cornea! Here's the last week, in one nice big update:

May 3 at 9:39am

The Surgery center called. Dr is on schedule today so they asked if I could come in earlier. Center is just 4 minutes away, so in we go!

May 3 at 11:09am

Waiting in the surgery waiting room. Moments after this was taken, they came and got me for surgery.


May 3 at 2:03pm

Out of surgery and loaded up! Off to pick up 7 different prescriptions!

recovery postop

May 3 at 9:57pm

Anesthesiologist said the drugs would last about 8 hours. Started to feel a twinge of pain about 1/2 hour ago, so I'd say that was a good call. Tasty chocolate edible made with the devil's lettuce taken.

May 4 at 9:11am

Just finished post op follow up appointment. Dr pleased with day 2 results; donor epithelials sloughing which is normal, meaning my own will grow and replace. Next appointment .s in one week.



(Here you can see the stitches and what looks like a drop off near the pupil is where the donor epithelials have sloughed off. Dr Aiello is expecting most or all of my own epithelials to have grown by our next follow up appointment.)

May 4 at 4:00pm

Made an unscheduled visit to the eye clinic to see Dr Aiello.
I've got quite a high tolerance for most pain but the pain I was experiencing was excruciatingly bad.
Add to that the fact that it involved my new cornea, it was of tantamount importance that it be addressed.

With the type of corneal transplant I had -- a Penetrating Keratoplasty (PKP), a full thickness corneal transplant (the cornea is cut down to the pupil, basically)-- the new cornea is exposed and in a delicate stage of recovery.
Long story even longer:
Dr Aiello put a soft contact lens on my eye to protect it as it heals.
He had to change up my prescriptions and respective dosages, as one of them doesn't play nice with contact lenses.
After a few minutes with the lens inserted the pain level subsided to, while still hurting, a tolerable level.
Combine that with a full dose of a chocolate bar made with Devil's lettuce, a vicodin and tasty sandwich & soup from Zupas I am doing pretty okay right about now!

May 7

Woke up to very little discomfort in my eye this morning and we made our way to Scottsdale for another follow up appointment with Dr Aiello today. He's pleased with the progress (granted, it's small steps, but as expected). The protective contact is out, to allow normal growth and healing now that my own epithelial have grown.

My eye is still more grey-ish in color than brown.

Sadly, there will be no "pirate patching" of the eye guard. Dr Aiello wants the eye covered and protected at all times (until further notice) and for the shield NOT to move -- an elastic band would be contrary to that. Another change in the meds - heavy on the anti-rejection/steriods.

As far as vision goes - It's nowhere near contact lens 20/60, but better than before. I can make out distinct shapes of cars on the road, if the wheels are colored or shiny, I can see them. Through the holes in the eye guard (functioning as a pinhole occluder), I can see my fingers individually as they type on the keyboard! That can and likely will change day to day as the eye heals and my body adjusts to the new cornea.

May 8

I'm putting a lot of medications in my eye. Some once or twice a day, some several times, every couple of hours. The short list of what I'm taking/putting in my eye:

  • Lotemax
  • Erythromycin
  • Cyclogyl
  • BromSite

The eye guard is a permanent fixture until Dr. Aiello says otherwise. No pirate patching either. He wants it to stay put, not be easy to move around. Considering what he's done for me, I'll follow the rules.

This is one of a series of blog posts about my ongoing Keratoconus treatments. You can find all the posts at The Keratoconus Chronicles page.

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