Optometrist Questions Eye transplant surgery

ā€œIs there such a thing as a whole-eye transplant surgery?ā€

My husband lost his one eye in a car accident. Right now, he has a glass eye in its place, but we read somewhere about a whole-eye transplant surgery, which would be great since the glass eye irritates him. How possible would this surgery be?

10 Answers


Iā€™m sorry to report, there is currently no known way to transplant an entire human eye. However, I recommend a visit to an Oculist to have an evaluation, and revision or replacement of the current prosthesis. A well-fitted one should be significantly more comfortable.

Thanks for the great question,

Dr. John Lowitz, OD
No. Unfortunately not.
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At this time, scientists have not figured out a way to successfully transplant a whole eye at this time. The eye is a very small but complex organ that is connected to your brain by the optic nerve. The optic nerve is made up of more than a million tiny nerve fibers similar to a fiber optic cable. The nerve fibers cannot be reconnected once they are cut which makes it impossible, at this time, to transplant a whole eye. Once scientists figure out how to regenerate and reconnect a functional nerve then this will be groundbreaking news in healthcare. There are a group of researchers who are working on this huge endeavor and they hope to be able to perform whole eye transplants within a decade. However, when someone receives an eye transplant today, they are usually undergoing a corneal transplant. Make sure that the glass eye is cleaned frequently, which can reduce a lot of the irritation.

Thank you for your question. No, there is currently no "whole-eye" surgery. There can be corneal transplant procedures however that is only part of the eye, not the whole eye.
At this time, there are no whole-eye transplants in humans. Some have been done in animals or rodents, but even with them, I am not sure how much vision was obtained, because the main emphasis was to just keep the optic nerve healthy after the whole-eye transplant. If the optic nerve remained fairly healthy, there is a possibility that would be measurable vision. I
have attached a link to a 2016 article, but I haven't heard of much progress in this area lately:
So far there is no such a thing possible. we do transplant cornea. sclera, and conjunctiva but whole eye transplant is not done so far. Because eye is a part of the brain and we can not transplant the brain.
Not possible that I am aware of. But perhaps a refitting/resizing of prosthetic eye may help with his irritations.
Simple answer is no. You would have to hook up millions of nerve fibers in the right spot through the optic nerve in such a way that they would actually make sense in the brain. Entire eye transplants have been done in the past: bottom line is you will not see out of it.
No, there's no such thing.