Advertisement

What is a DSEK procedure for corneal transplant?

David R. Demartini, MD
Ophthalmology
Descemet's Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK) is a partial thickness corneal transplant that replaces the posterior layers of the cornea. This was developed to try to simplify the corneal transplant procedure and avoid some of the post-operative problems that arise after full thickness transplant (penetrating keratoplasty).
During DSEK, Descemet's membrane and the endothelium is stripped and removed from the back of the patient’s cornea and a new partial thickness wafer of the donor cornea is inserted in its place. A larger air bubble holds this new tissue in place until it sticks and adheres on its own. This new donor tissue than takes over for the diseased cornea and clears it for improved vision.
 
In the advanced DSEK procedure, a much smaller incision is used than in a traditional cornea transplant. Only a very thin layer (approximately 100 microns) of donor cornea is inserted into the eye. After the new endothelial cells are unfolded in the eye, an air bubble is placed in the front part of the eye to push the new cells up against the dome-shaped cornea.



Continue Learning about Eye and Vision

Light the Way for Your Eyes
Light the Way for Your Eyes
Don’t rely on your good eyesight in the dark -- especially if you’re getting older. By the time you hit late middle age, your r...
Read More
What does it mean if my eyes are frequently red and inflamed?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Inflamed eyes could be a sign of arthritis -- the painful inflammation and stiffening of joints. The...
More Answers
7 Ways to Live Better With Low Vision
7 Ways to Live Better With Low Vision7 Ways to Live Better With Low Vision7 Ways to Live Better With Low Vision7 Ways to Live Better With Low Vision
Make your day-to-day living easier with these home and lifestyle tips.
Start Slideshow
Will We Eventually Be Able to Cure Blindness?
Will We Eventually Be Able to Cure Blindness?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.