A corneal transplant is a surgical procedure that removes the diseased portion of the recipient’s cornea and replaces it with a healthy donor cornea.Donor corneas are recovered from deceased individuals who had legally expressed their consent to donation prior to death or whose legal representatives grant permission for donation at the time of death. Each year, approximately 40,000 Americans have their sight improved or fully restored thanks to this simple, yet priceless gift.
How can I sign up to be an eye donor?
Signing up to become an eye donor is easy! Just click on this link to enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry. Be sure to inform your friends and family about your decision so they can help follow through with your wishes. Registry information is kept strictly confidential.
Can all eyes be used for transplantation?
The majority of eyes donated can be used for transplantation. Even donors with poor vision or having a history of cancer or diabetes may be eligible to donate the Gift of Sight! Eye tissue that is deemed not suitable for surgical use can also be used for scientific research, medical education, and the advancement of medical technique.
Click on the questions below to expand?
Are there any age restrictions for eye donation?
Eye tissue from donors between the ages of 1 and 75 is potentially eligible to be used for transplantation. People over the age of 75 may still donate, but the tissue would be used for scientific research, medical education, and the advancement of medical technique.
Can I specify whether my eyes can or cannot be used for research?
As a donor, you can specify whether the research/education option is right for you.
Can I donate other organs or tissue?
Absolutely! There is a critical need for other organs and tissues, especially those required for life-saving operations. As a donor, you can specify which organs and tissues you would like to donate.
Can I just donate my corneas?
Yes, just indicate your preference when you sign up on the donor registry.
Can other parts of the eye besides the cornea be used for transplantation as well?
Yes, the sclera, or white portion of the eye, may be used in eyelid repair and reconstructive surgeries.
Does eye donation affect the appearance of the donor or interfere with funeral arrangements?
Eye donation generally does not interfere with the timing of funeral arrangements and there is no disfigurement to the deceased after eye tissue is recovered.
How soon after donation is a cornea transplanted?
A corneal transplant is typically performed within 2 to 6 days after the donation, but in rare instances, it may actually occur as far as 14 days from the date of donation.
What does my religion say about organ, tissue and eye donation?
Most religions approve of donation and consider it the most significant gift one human can bestow upon another. If you have any questions, contact your spiritual leader.
How else can I help?
You can volunteer your time as a corneal transporter or ambassador for sight. Call 516-256-6990 for details on how to become a part of our program.
Can I donate money to help the Lions Bank's sight restoration program?
Absolutely. Any and all contributions are appreciated. Click here for further information.