April is Donate Life Month — the perfect time to celebrate tissue and organ donation and the miracle of organ transplants.
One such life-changing procedure, corneal transplant surgery, restores vision by replacing a diseased cornea with a healthy donor cornea. Recent advances enable ophthalmological surgeons to transplant just the inner cell lining rather than the entire cornea. This results in fewer graft rejections, quicker recovery of sight and reduced need for post-transplant medications.
Corneal collagen cross-linking is a noninvasive technique that helps create new collagen bonds throughout the cornea. When performed early enough, this procedure can preserve good vision and postpone the need for a transplant. It also helps alleviate the shortage of corneal tissue.
The need for corneal tissue is great: While about 40,000 corneal transplants take place in the US annually, more than 10 million people worldwide still need this life-transforming procedure. Corneal transplants are impossible without the generosity of a donor family.
Eye, tissue and organ donations from one donor can help as many as 50 recipients. Consider the far-reaching impact of donation and discuss your wish to be a donor with family and friends. Enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry now with the Lions Eye Bank of Long Island.
Have you signed up for tissue and organ donation? Tell us in the comments.
Photo Credit: Donate Life