Corneal Transplant with DSAEK Surgery
A healthy cornea is important for clear vision. The cornea is located on the outside surface of your eye and is responsible for not only protecting the eye from foreign debris but also for helping focus light that enters the eye.
Because the cornea is so front and center on the eye, it is also prone to becoming damaged, diseased or scarred due to:
- Inflammation (keratitis)
- Dry eye
- Thinning, causing a cone-shaped cornea (keratoconus)
- Cell deterioration (Fuchs’ dystrophy)
- Protein deposits (lattice dystrophy)
- Ocular herpes
- Pinkish growth (pterygium)
- Inward-facing eyelashes causing scarring (trichiasis)
- And a variety of other conditions
When this damage is severe enough, your vision will become greatly impacted. If glasses or contact lenses cannot restore your vision for daily tasks, your doctor may recommend a corneal transplant. This process works by removing all or part of the cornea and replacing it with healthy donor tissue from an eye bank.
At Great Plains Eye Specialists, our doctors perform corneal transplants in Rapid City. Depending on the severity of your problem, we may recommend:
- PK (Penetrating Keratoplasty): a full thickness corneal transplant to replace the entire cornea. Temporary sutures are necessary to keep the new cornea in place as the eye heals.
- DSAEK (Descemet’s Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty): a partial thickness corneal transplant which replaces the damaged section of the innermost endothelium layer and the Descemet membrane. No sutures are required and most patients achieve a faster visual recovery.
Benefits of DSAEK
Full corneal transplants require that a patient’s entire cornea be removed and replaced with a donor cornea from an eye bank. While this method is very successful for restoring vision in patients with severe corneal damage, the surgery requires sutures to keep the new cornea in place, resulting in a long recovery time and greater potential for complications.
DSAEK, or partial thickness corneal transplants, involves replacing only the damaged section of the back inner layer of the cornea. Healthy donor tissue from an eye bank is also used for this procedure.
- Only a small incision is necessary
- Faster recovery time
- No sutures required
- Faster surgery time
- Less visual distortion
- Reduced risk of problems like dry eye
- Reduced risk of astigmatism
- Greater integrity of the corneal tissue
If you are considering having a corneal transplant, find out if a DSAEK corneal transplant might be right for you. Contact us today to arrange an eye exam in Rapid City and learn more about your options for visual improvement through corneal implants. You can also learn more about the risks of DSAEK such as rejection of the new tissue, bleeding, infection and corneal swelling. Trusting your eyes to an experienced ophthalmologist will help reduce some of those risks. Our experienced corneal doctors will discuss vision restoration options for your unique situation.