After penetrating keratoplasty, visual rehabilitation can be slow and is largely a function of corneal surface configuration. Computerized topographic analysis allows the detailed study of corneal surface factors that determine the optical function of the graft. We performed a prospective, longitudinal study of eight patients with keratoconus by using computerized topographic analysis to determine the rate and pattern of postoperative surface normalization and stabilization. Study data included Snellen visual acuity, contrast sensitivity function, central keratometry, photokeratoscopy, and computerized topographic analysis. Data were collected preoperatively and at one week, one month, two months, three months, and six months postoperatively. Results demonstrate that the greatest configurational changes both topographically and functionally occur in the first month after keratoplasty. The computer-generated surface asymmetry index and the surface regularity index correlated well with improvement in Snellen visual acuity measurements. Contrast sensitivity function was depressed initially but improved to well above preoperative values by one month postoperatively and paralleled the improvement in the surface indices and visual acuity. The axis of astigmatism stabilized by one month postoperatively. Our data indicate that topographic analysis provides a good indication of the rate and course of optical stabilization during the early healing process after keratoplasty and correlates well with visual function in the otherwise normal eye.