Long Branch
279 Third Avenue
Suite 204
Long Branch, NJ, 07740
(732) 222-7373
Little Silver
180 White Road
Suite 202
Little Silver, NJ 07739
(732) 219-9220
100 Commons Way
Suite 230
Holmdel, NJ 07733
(732) 796-7140
2640 Rt. 70
Bldg. 7B, Suite 101
Manasquan, NJ 08736

Corneal Transplant Surgery and DSEK

The cornea acts as a window at the front of the eye. If disease damages the inner lining of the
cornea (endothelium), the cornea becomes swollen and vision becomes blurry. Patients with
corneal endothelial diseases, such as Fuchs’ Dystrophy, previously required a full thickness
corneal transplant (penetrating keratorplasty–PK) for visual rehabilitation. The traditional PK
surgery involves a large circular incision to remove the diseased cornea. The surgeon then
sutures a donor cornea into place. While PK is safe and well tolerated, the recovery can be
quite long–up to twelve months. Patients frequently have irregular corneal curvature from the
sutures and require a contact lens for best vision.

The large incision also compromises the cornea’s structural integrity. Newer DSEK surgery
has significant benefits compared to PK. Using a very small incision, the abnormal corneal
endothelium is isolated, removed and replaced. A plain air bubble suspends the donor
endothelium and the donor tissue does not require sutures. There is much less post-operative
astigmatism, the cornea heals much faster, and the risk of infection is significantly reduced.

Surgeons perform DSEK under local anesthesia. The patient receives mild relaxing medications
and anesthetic injections around the eye. The procedure takes approximately 45 minutes.
For the first 24 hours, you lie on your back. This will help the graft stay in position. You will
need several eyedrops to prevent infection and inflammation. After the first 48 hours there are
minimal restrictions to your activities. 80% of the healing takes place within one month, but
the vision can continue to improve over four to six months.

Copyright © 2009 Atlantic Eye Physicians