Penetrating Keratoplasty or traditional full thickness corneal transplant is a surgical procedure where the central two third of the diseased cornea is removed and replaced with a clear healthy donor tissue which is secured in place with sutures.
A PKP requires a full year to heal. Attaining maximum visual recovery may require a contact lens if the surface of the new cornea is somewhat irregular.
Patients with a PKP must protect the eye indefinitely and avoid injury as such event may split the incision open.
More advanced types of Corneal transplants such as Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK) or anterior lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK) target the diseased layer of the cornea making these procedures more selective.
These newer techniques give the added advantage of faster healing, less restriction in activity and improved integrity of the eyeball with reduced risk of injury to the eye.