• Can I do exercises two months after my corneal transplant?


    Question:

    I had corneal transplant surgery two months ago. Can I do exercises like push-up, crunches, and squats or do I have to wait until the sutures are removed? The doctor will remove them in about three months.


    Answer:

    In a full thickness corneal transplant (when the entire cornea is transplanted), I tell my patients to avoid any rigorous physical activity for at least six weeks after surgery. In addition, they should avoid any activities like boxing that can result in direct trauma (injury) to the head and eyes for the rest of their life. If the sutures break and the corneal wound opens, there is a high chance that you will get an infection, retinal detachment, etc... and lose your eye. The sutures are only removed from the cornea once the surgeon feels that the wound has healed well enough to maintain integrity without the suture in place. I usually start at about three to six months after surgery and only take out two sutures at a time. However, I stress to my patients that there will always be weakness in the wound edge, even after the cornea has "healed." I have seen patients who have suffered direct trauma that opened their corneal wound 10 years after the transplant!


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