eye cornea transplant cost in india

Cornea Transplant Cost In India

Did you know that the ability to see the things around us is one of our five fundamental senses, and our eyes are easily one of our most required sense organs? Even being blindfolded for a few minutes can get us all stressed out and confused. So how difficult it is for those who cannot see. Cornea Transplant in India is a surgical procedure through which the lost vision is returned to a patient by transplanting the entire cornea or a portion of it. The cornea transplant costs in India vary depending on the surgery the doctor has recommended. Cornea grafting or cornea transplant is a comparatively safer operation with no life risk to the patient. In fact, the only negative side effects include eye infections that can be treated with the right medicine. According to the latest research, cornea transplants have been successful for 9 out of 10 patients, and the success rate is even higher if the donor is a family member.

India is fast emerging as the hub of medical tourism, with various treatments and surgeries available at an affordable cost. It is, for this reason, people from all over the world prefer visiting India and getting their health ailments taken care of or having surgeries performed.

  • Introduction to Cornea Transplant.
  • Types Of Cornea Transplant Surgeries.
  • Preparation is involved before the Cornea transplant treatment.
  • Risks associated with Cornea transplant.
  • Factors affecting Cost of Cornea transplant In India.
  • Available Options For Cornea Transplant Costs In India.

What Is A Cornea Transplant?

The human eye has many layers, each with its one function. The cornea is the uppermost layer of the eye, in front of the iris, pupil, and lenses. Often, when a patient cannot see properly, it is either due to a lens malfunction or a damaged cornea that prevents the person from seeing. A Cornea transplant surgery replaces the damaged cornea with a fresh, undamaged, and functional cornea from a donor that fixes the patient's vision.

What Are the Different Types Of Eye Cornea Transplants In India?

There are four different types of Cornea surgeries in India that a patient can avail of. It goes without saying that the price range for a Cornea transplant operation is heavily dependent on the type of surgery the doctor has suggested to you. The four different types of cornea transplants include the following.

1. Penetrating Keratoplasty

A penetrating keratoplasty involves replacing the entire cornea with a healthier donor cornea. In this surgical treatment, the surgeon not only replaces a portion of the cornea for better vision but the entire layer when the cornea is so badly damaged that medicines and other treatment alternatives will not be able to provide the patient with the desired results. The cost of penetrating keratoplasty in India could be between INR 50,000* to INR 1 lakh*.

2. Endothelial Keratoplasty

This surgical treatment is meant for those whose endothelial layer of the cornea is damaged. Rather than replacing the whole corneal layer, only the damaged inner lining from a donor replaces the endothelial tissue. Endothelial keratoplasty typically needs a higher budget and costs around INR 1.5 lakhs*.

3. Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty.

This surgery is done on those whose endothelial or inner corneal lining has no problem but the front outer layers have deteriorated. In Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty, only the epithelium and the stroma is replaced by the donor body, and the average cost ranges from INR 70,000* to INR 1 lakh*.

4. Keratoprosthesis

Keratoprosthesis or Artificial Cornea Transplant is usually used as a last resort for treating a damaged cornea. In this case, an artificial cornea is transplanted when the donor’s cornea is not compatible or available. The total cost of an Artificial Cornea Transplant is between INR 75,000* to INR 1.15 Lakh*.

How Do You Prepare For A Cornea Transplant?

The cornea transplant operation begins with a thorough eye check-up by the doctor, who performs several tests to determine the type of surgery the patient requires. It is important to note here that if you are calculating the overall costs for a Cornea transplant in India, the doctor’s fees and the charges for the tests should also be included to get a more wholesome idea.

  • Eye Examination: This is to see the type of cornea transplant the patient requires, the urgency of the surgery, and check for any underlying conditions that can cause trouble post-surgery.
  • Eye Measurement: The doctor or the medical personnel measures the dimensions of the cornea to see which size of donor cornea would be most suited for the patient.
  • Reviewing Your Medical Records And Your Meds: If the patient has other chronic health conditions and has to take medications for the same, the dosage and the composition of these medicines can have negative repercussions. Thus, the doctor goes into the minute details to check the patient’s medicines and the dosage to ensure a safe surgery.
  • Treating Other Eye Issues: If your cornea is damaged, chances are there are other concerns with your eye. The doctor performing the cornea transplant not only treats the cornea but also looks at and diagnoses other eye-related issues, if any.
  • Finding A Donor: The last and arguably the most crucial pre-operation step is to find a compatible donor.

What Are The Risks Associated With A Cornea Transplant?

While a cornea transplant is an otherwise safe surgery without any life-threatening risks associated with the treatment, there can be quite a few side effects. Post-surgery complications include -

  • Eye infections
  • Glaucoma
  • Infection in stitches
  • Retinal Issues
  • Deterioration in retinal condition
  • Corneal Rejection
  • Pain in the Eye
  • Loss of Vision
  • Increased Sensitivity to Light

What is the Eye Cornea Transplant Cost in India?

The eye cornea transplant cost in India varies depending on the surgery the doctor has recommended. Depending on the medical condition of the patient and the type of corneal transplant chosen, the cost of the surgical procedure is approximately INR 1 Lakh. This cost is dependent on several factors.

What Factors Can Affect The Cost Of A Cornea Transplant In India?

The rate for a eye cornea transplant depends on certain factors that include aspects like the surgeon and the consulting doctor the patient chooses, the location and the facilities offered by the hospital, and more.

  • Location Of The Hospital And Its Facilities. The average cost of cornea transplants for medical tourists, as well as local patients, is directly linked with the location and the type of the hospital you choose. A private multi-speciality hospital offers comprehensive care and treatment solutions, so the prices are higher than a government establishment. Similarly, cornea transplant rates in metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai are also on the higher end.
  • Duration Of The Stay At The Hospital: Hospital bills are calculated daily, so the average cost of a cornea transplant depends on the duration of the patient’s stay. If the doctor finds other issues, the patient might have to prolong their stay to get treated, but eye surgery like a Cornea transplant usually gets completed in a single day. So the patient can come home and save on medical fees.
  • Medical Insurance: If the patient already has insurance coverage for a cornea transplant in India, the overall cost can be drastically reduced. The patient only needs to pay the bare minimum or nothing at all.
  • The Location Of The Patient: If the patient chooses to get the surgery in their hometown, the rates for all the associated activities, including port operative care, get reduced. On the other hand, if the patient needs to travel to a far location, the travel charges can increase the overall costs significantly.
  • Quantity And Dosage Of Medicine: Though a cornea transplant does not involve any endangering life risks, the patient needs to follow a strict medical diet and take medicines like tabs and eye drops. The average cost of a transplant can go up if the quantity, price, and dosage of the meds are high.
  • The Fees of The Doctor: The surgeon or your ophthalmologist will charge a fee for their service. If the doctor holds an international license or is a stalwart in the field, you can expect them to have a more expensive fee structure than a local doctor who lacks the credentials.

What Are The Available Financing Options For Cornea Transplant In India

A cornea transplant is an expensive surgical treatment and could require additional funds depending on the other aspects of the surgery. Moreover, the care and medicines required after successful surgery can be costly. Here are the different funding options available -

  • Government Eye Banks: Government eye banks are one of the simplest ways of getting a new cornea. The patient needs to register themselves on the eye bank waiting list. When an available cornea is compatible with the patient in the queue, the eye bank informs them either through the hospital where the surgery will be performed or through the doctor.
  • Medical Loans: Most banks in India and outside offer medical loans for big investments like a cornea or bone marrow transplantation. There are several loan options for the patient to choose from, and they can decide which alternative is most suited for their financial condition.
  • Personal Savings And Finances: If the patient has the funds required to get a donor and go through the transplantation surgery, then personal finances are the best alternative to the funding option. The individual does not have to wait for the medical loan to get sanctioned and can pay off the hospital and the medical experts as per required.
  • Crowd Funding: Crowdfunding is a popular technique for raising money for transplant surgery. The patient needs to appeal to the public and ask them to raise the money required for the treatment if they do not have the funds to pay for it.
  • Government Assistance Through National Schemes: The government has introduced a few medical schemes where the patient can take the help of government assistance to pay for their cornea transplant and the medicines required in the recovery period.

Key Takeaways

A cornea transplant is an important eye surgery used to treat a damaged cornea, the uppermost layer of the eye. A cornea transplant is relatively inexpensive, especially compared to other similar surgeries, and usually can come within a budget of INR 1 to 1.5 lakh*. The prices may vary since the overall costs for the surgery are closely linked to other factors like the hospital and the surgeon, the medicines required in the recovery period, and more. The process starts with an eye checkup, following which the patient’s name has to be registered on the transplant waiting list. Once a donor is available, the hospital or the doctor informs the patient. This is even more apparent if the concerned person prefers a private setup where the infrastructure might be better, but the prices are definitely higher.

There are multiple ways in which the individual undergoing the treatment can get the funds required for the transplantation. They can either opt for government assistance, a medical or collateral loan from the bank or personally fund the operation if they have the necessary amount saved. Cornea transplant has a high success rate where 9 out of 10 patients can be treated and promise impressive results.

*Cost varies from hospital to hospital

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Frequently Asked Questions About Eye Cornea Transplants in India

Ques 1. Does the patient have to wear glasses post-operation?
Ans 1. A cornea transplant is followed by a distortion in the corneal structure that needs to be fixed with glasses and other eye care, So if there is a change in the quality or the clarity of vision, the patient needs to see a doctor and wear goggles to ensure that their visions have been properly corrected.

Ques 2. How soon can a person start to drive after a cornea transplant?
Ans 2. If the patient has one functional eye, they can start driving a vehicle within 24 hours of surgery. However, to avoid complications and ensure the patient’s safety on the road, doctors recommend a 72-hour rest before any heavy task.

Ques 3. Is a eye cornea transplant very costly?
Ans 3. Cornea transplant does require some funds and a substantial amount of money that ranges between INR 1* and 1.5 lakhs* depending on the other factors that can affect the price range. It is not as pricey as other organ transplant surgeries, and there are multiple funding options, including bank loans, government assistance, and crowdfunding.

Ques 4. Can anyone get a cornea transplant?
Ans 4. Cornea transplant treatment is meant for people with corneal diseases that can be treated only through an invasive treatment and those whose cornea has sustained irreversible damage.

Ques 5. How long must one stay in the hospital after a cornea transplant?
Ans 5. A cornea transplant patient needs a minimum of 24 to 48 hours of stay in the hospital after surgery. The length of stay also depends on the patient's medical conditions.

Ques 6. How long does a cornea transplant take?
Ans 6. The cornea transplant surgery usually takes less than an hour to complete.

Ques 7. What kind of anaesthesia is used during a cornea transplant?
Ans 7. Patients who have significant cardiovascular issues require intra-arterial blood pressure monitoring. Retribular or local anaesthesia is used for corneal transplants.


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