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Generous donors and families make corneal transplants possible.

A cornea transplant is a procedure that replaces a diseased or injured cornea with healthy corneal tissue from a deceased human donor. For many people, cornea transplant surgery restores sight and improves the quality of life.

Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin (LEBW) is responsible for facilitating eye tissue recovery with healthcare staff and organ procurement organizations (OPO’s). Our skilled Recovery Technicians travel to hospitals and other facilities to recover tissue. Once the tissue has been recovered, our dedicated team of volunteers, LEBW Transporters, relay tissue until it reaches the LEBW office, where it is evaluated to ensure it is safe for transplantation.

In 1905, the first cornea transplant was performed. Over the last century, corneal transplantation has evolved into various techniques focused on the selective replacement of diseased and injured cornea. Recovery of eye tissue takes place within hours of death. In the U.S., corneas are vial for up to 14 days after recovery, but most transplants occur within a few days of recovery.

Currently, there is no waitlist in the U.S. However, there are parts of the world where waitlists are quite long.