Recovery from Surgery

I am on the path to recovery eight days after cornea transplant surgery. I find it hard to explain with words what I am seeing as I go through the recovery process. With lots of time on my hands, I used Photoshop to try to simulate what I am seeing each day.

I start with what I should see if my vision were 20/20, which of course it is not before surgery. The inset box is a simulated computer screen, which is where I have the most difficulty seeing.


Now here is what I do see pre-surgery. Distance vision is not bad, but I find it almost impossible to read. This is with reading glasses, best corrected vision. The problem is not that I need reading glasses, my vision is cloudy with lots of glare. Computer screens especially cause lots of glare.


And here is Day 0, right after surgery. I can’t see much of anything, which is not a surprise. The surgery is fairly traumatic for both my cornea and the donor tissue.



One day later I can begin to see, through a bubble and a cloudy cornea. In contrast to the fuzzy world outside, inside my eye are black spots sharply focused. They appear in the bottom of my field of view whey I sit up, but disappear when I lie down. They look like bubbles, but I cannot figure out what is causing them until I remember that the image on our retina is upside down. They are shadows of bubbles in the back of my eye, at the retina. and they float into sight at the top of the retina when I sit up. If I tip my head they move, like a little bubble level.


By day three my vision is still blurry but the uneven cloudiness is gone.


I expected continued improvement, but days four and five seem to be worse. I am looking through a white haze, my cornea becoming more cloudy as we wait for the graft to start working.


On day seven the graft finally seems to wake up and start doing its job. My vision steadily improves and on day eight I am back to approximately the pre-surgery vision.


I hope for continued improvement in the coming days, but now I expect the change will be more gradual and not so easily represented by a picture.

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