Skip to main content

Cornea Surgery Specialist

Stephen Khachikian, MD -  - Ophthalmologist

Stephen Khachikian, MD

Ophthalmologist located in Rapid City, SD

Healthy corneas are one of the most important components of your eyes, but many men and women suffer from cornea damage and disease that severely impairs vision or even causes blindness. At Stephen Khachikian, MD, in Rapid City, South Dakota, Dr. Khachikian draws upon his extensive medical training to perform corneal surgery that repairs or replaces your cornea. Use the online scheduler or call the office to book your corneal surgery consultation today.

Cornea Surgery

When do I need corneal surgery?

If any of the layers of cells that make up your cornea are diseased, injured, or otherwise damaged, it means that you won't be able to focus light correctly. When your cornea isn't healthy, you may develop blurry vision or even worse vision problems.

Sometimes, nonsurgical solutions can help with cornea problems. For example, if you suffer from keratoconus, special contact lenses may effectively reshape your cornea. But, when the problem lies with the health of the cells in your cornea, corneal surgery is often the best solution.


What are the different types of corneal surgery?

There are many different types of corneal surgery. Sometimes, part or all of the cornea is replaced, and in other cases, Dr. Khachikian repairs your cornea without significant tissue removal.

Options include:

General corneal transplant

Penetrating keratoplasty procedure that replaces all or part of your cornea with a donated one.


A procedure that replaces your cornea with a prosthetic one.

Descemet’s stripping endothelial keratoplasty

Dr. Khachikian makes a small incision to remove the basement membrane of your cornea and then replaces it with donor material.

Limbal cell transplant

In this addition to a corneal transplant, Dr. Khachikian places cultured stem cells from a healthy eye into your cornea to help you grow new epithelium cells.

Photo-therapeutic keratectomy

A solution for diseases that affect only the surface of your cornea. Dr. Khachikian removes the outermost cornea layer, then uses a laser to smooth the corneal surface.

Superficial keratectomy

A treatment for hazy or blurry vision. Dr. Khachikian removes the anterior stroma and your outer cornea.

Pterygium removal

A laser procedure to relieve thickening of corneal coating.

Laceration repair

A scratch on your cornea can lead to a true laceration, which Dr. Khachikian can repair in several different ways. Laceration repair may include irrigation, a patch over the laceration, and sutures. Laser surgery may work for laceration repair.


If you suffer from keratoconus, Dr. Khachikian can implant Intacs that reshape your cornea over time.

IntraLase® enabled keratoplasty (IEK)

In this procedure, Dr. Khachikian can use the IntraLase laser to remove and replace your cornea using a special pattern that encourages a smooth fit and minimal stitches.

Deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty

A newer surgical method in which Dr. Khachikian removes your outer cornea but leaves the inner part in place before placing the donor tissue. This can reduce the chances of rejection of the donor material.

Corneal surgery can be unique to each patient, and Dr. Khachikian will determine the option that will give you optimal results.

Corneal surgery may be the best way to recapture clear vision, so book your appointment online or by calling the office of Stephen Khachikian, MD, today.