DSAEK and DMEK are partial thickness corneal transplants. Used to restore the corneal function and transparency.
In partial thickness transplants the cornea is not completely removed and exchanged with a transplanted cornea. The partial thickness transplants require only the removal and replacement of the posterior layer of the cornea, the Decrement’s membrane with its endothelial cells.
The cornea is the dome-shaped clear structure that forms the front of the eye. It works as a lens and is formed by different layers. The epithelium is the outermost layer composed of several layers of cells. Underneath the epithelium lays the stroma. The stroma is formed by collagen fibers and represents about 90% of the corneal thickness. Finally a thin fibrous membrane, the Descemet’s membrane holds a single layer of cells called the endothelium, they form the inner surface of the cornea. The endothelium’s function is to maintain the stroma clear by pumping water out of it. When the endothelial cells are damaged or lost the stroma absorbs water like a sponge becoming thick and cloudy, decreasing vision.
When are DSAEK and DMEK indicated?
They are used in cases where the cells attached to the Descement’s membrane called the endothelial cells are not working properly. This occurs in congenital conditions like Fuch’s endothelial dystrophy or could be acquired after other eye surgeries. Is used when the rest of the cornea is in good condition. DSAEK and DMEK are not the procedures of choice for conditions like corneal scars or keratoconus.
What are DSAEK and DMEK advantages compared to full thickness corneal transplant?
– Small incision surgery, decreasing the risk of complications.
– Faster healing.
– Faster visual recovery.
Call us to set up an appointment to discuss the best procedure for your specific condition.
Descemet’s stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK) and Descemet’s membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK).
Call us today for more information on corneal transplants.