Corneal Transplantation at an Ophthalmological Referral Center in Colombia: Indications and Techniques (2004-2011)

Virgilio Galvis1, 2, 5, Alejandro Tello* , 1, 2, 5, Augusto José Gomez2, Carlos Mario Rangel3, Angélica María Prada4, Paul Anthony Camacho6
1 Centro Oftalmológico Virgilio Galvis, Floridablanca, Colombia
2 Fundación Oftalmológica de Santander-Clínica Carlos Ardila Lulle (FOSCAL), Floridablanca, Colombia
3 Fundación Oftalmológica de Santander-Clínica Carlos Ardila Lulle (FOSCAL)- Universidad Industrial de Santander, Floridablanca, Colombia
4 Centro Oftalmológico Virgilio Galvis, Fundación Oftalmológica de Santander-Clínica Carlos Ardila Lulle (FOSCAL), Floridablanca, Colombia
5 Health Faculty, Universidad Autónoma de Bucaramanga, Bucaramanga, Colombia
6 Fundación Oftalmológica de Santander-Clínica Carlos Ardila Lulle (FOSCAL), Colombia

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© Galvis et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Centro Médico Carlos Ardila Lulle. Torre A - Piso 3 - Módulo 7, Floridablanca, Santander, Colombia; Tel: 57 7 6392626; Fax: 57 7 6392929; E-mail:



To analize changing trends in indications and surgical techniques of corneal transplantation at an ophthalmological tertiary referral center in Colombia over a 7 year period.


A retrospective analysis was performed of medical records from patients who underwent corneal transplantation surgeries at Fundación Oftalmológica de Santander (FOSCAL) in Bucaramanga, Colombia, between August 2004 and August 2011.


During this period from a total of 450 corneal transplants performed, we had access to 402 medical records (89.4%). The patients’ mean age was 55. Leading indications were: pseudophakic/aphakic bullous kerathopathy (PBK/ABK) (34.6%), corneal scar (15.7%), active infectious keratitis (14.4%) and keratoconus (12.7%). During the first period (2004-2007) PBK/ABK was the leading indication, followed by stromal opacities and keratoconus. During the second period (2008-2011) PBK/ABK remained the leading indication. Infectious keratitis, however, became the second most common indication. Stromal opacities and keratoconus, moved to third and fourth, respectively. All transplants performed in the first period (2004-2007) were penetrating keratoplasties. In the second period (2008-2011) 18.7% of the procedures were performed using the Descemet’s stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty technique (DSAEK).


Similar to other international results, PBK/ABK was the leading indication for corneal transplantation at our institution. Keratoconus is becoming a less common indication for keratoplasty in our institution. Infectious keratitis remains a frequent indication for corneal transplantation in this geographical area. In our institution we started performing DSAEK in 2009, and it is emerging as the procedure of choice in corneal diseases that involve only the endothelial layers.

Keywords: Corneal transplantation, penetrating keratoplasty, endothelial keratoplasty, lamellar keratoplasty, DSAEK.