ophthalmology surgery

What is Corneoconjunctival Transposition? | IndyVet

IndyVet is an emergency animal hospital located on the south side of Indianapolis. The hospital houses an emergency department along with eight specialty departments including Oncology, Ophthalmology, Surgery, Rehabilitation, Neurology, Internal Medicine, Anesthesia and Critical Care. In addition to our emergency and specialty departments, we also have our own Blood Donation Center and Urgent Care services. To sign your pet up to be a blood donor, click here.

Whenever I have a veterinarian or technician pop their head into my office to let me know they’re about to start a procedure or have an interesting case, you better believe that I drop everything that I’m doing to watch, learn, and photograph it.  So, when Dr. Heidi Klein, the Ophthalmologist at IndyVet, told me about the Corneoconjunctival Transposition procedure that she was about to perform, I quickly grabbed my camera and headed to the OR to watch her in action.

Ophthalmology Department

The goal of IndyVet Ophthalmology is to help pets maintain or recover ocular health and vision so they can enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle with their families. A secondary goal is to help identify genetic risk factors of ocular diseases in pets to reduce the perpetuation of these diseases in the breeding population.

Veterinary ophthalmologists are veterinarians that specialize in diagnosing and treating eye diseases of animals. Veterinary ophthalmologists perform comprehensive examinations of the eye using good light sources with magnification. The exam evaluates all structures of the eye, including specialized tests of visual function. Ophthalmologists treat some eye diseases with medication while others require surgical intervention.

What is Corneoconjunctival Transposition?

Let’s go over the procedure.  Corneoconjunctival Transposition is a procedure in which essentially the Ophthalmologist (Dr. Heidi Klein) is creating a corneal transplant using the adjacent healthy cornea tissue and conjunctival tissue to cover the ulcer and provide the area with structural support. 

A portion of normal cornea and conjunctiva is placed over the corneal defect (ulcer) to protect the vulnerable area and help seal the eye if needed. Dissolvable stitches help hold the graft in place until the graft grows into the cornea.

Dr. Klein has a great way of educating you throughout her surgeries and I’m grateful for her patience and calm demeanor as she answered all of my questions throughout her procedure.  Looking through a microscope and working with tenotomy scissors, she carefully worked on little Chalupa. This procedure is tedious.  You’re working under a microscope and when your patient is a 4-year-old Chihuahua, you’re working on an even smaller plane.

Who is Dr. Heidi Klein?

Dr. Heidi Klein, DVM, MS, DACVO, joined IndyVet in August of 2013. She graduated from North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 2006. As an Indianapolis native, she found herself close to home after graduation and completed a rotating internship, three-year residency and Master’s Program at Purdue University in 2010. In 2011, she became board-certified in ophthalmology, and currently has professional affiliations with the American Veterinary Medical Association, American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists, Indiana Veterinary Medical Association, and the Central Indiana Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Klein enjoys both the medical and surgical aspects of ophthalmology, with particular interest in feline ophthalmology, cataract surgery, and corneal surgery.

Dr. Klein treats all of her patients with the same care and compassion as she would her own pets. She spends her time away from work with her husband, two children and three cats.

I asked Dr. Klein what got her interested in Ophthalmology.

“When I was attending North Carolina State University we were able to rotate into different departments and ophthalmology really interested me.  It was a great mixture of both medical and surgical procedures.”

Dr. Klein has performed several interesting surgical procedures throughout her time at IndyVet, including eyelid surgery for two tigers who were rescued from the Joe Exotic Zoo located in Oklahoma.

To learn more about our Ophthalmology Department, click here.

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