The Cornea is the transparent window in front of the eye and its role in allowing the entry of light rays into the eye. Sometimes the cornea is sick, muddy or distorted. Light rays passing through the sick cornea are twisted and a person could lose vision capability up to blindness. Sometimes, when distorted vision cannot be improved by glasses or contact lenses, corneal transplantation is needed.
During corneal transplant surgery the sick cornea is replaced by a healthy cornea taken from a dead donor.
Many people in Israel are waiting for cornea donation and the waiting time is particularly long.
Barzilai Medical Center was mobilized to raise awareness to the importance of corneal donation in order to save vision. Cooperation of management, medical and nursing staff led to significant increase of cornea donations in the hospital. As a result, many cornea transplants were performed at the hospital and dozens of people on the verge of blindness were to regain their eyesight.
"The field of corneal transplants has changed dramatically in recent years" said Dr. Or Kizerman, Director of Cornea Service. "If in the past we transplanted only corneas in their entirety, we now know to implant the different parts of the cornea by the patient's needs and avoid having to replace the entire cornea. This led to significant improvement in operating results that previously we could only dream are possible such as corneal transplantation with no sutures or without corneal transplant rejection". Dr. Levartovsky, Director of the Ophthalmology Department noted with satisfaction that "due to the intensive effort waiting time for corneal transplantation have been significantly shortened and is set nowadays to several weeks".