Descemet’s Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty
Descemet’s stripping endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK) is a surgical procedure that involves replacing the innermost layer of the cornea, rather than the entire thickness of the cornea (which is a PKP, corneal transplant).
DSEK surgery involves peeling only the diseased endothelial layer from the back of the patient’s cornea, leaving the remaining 95% of the cornea, which is healthy, undisturbed. The posterior layer of a healthy donor cornea is then placed inside the eye through a small incision and positioned with an air bubble to replace the diseased layer that was removed.
DSEK is performed in less than one hour without any sutures in the cornea and typically has a short recovery period for the patient.
Advantages of DSEK as Compared to Standard Corneal Transplantation are:
- The eye is left much stronger and more resistant to injury, since the incision is smaller and heals with greater strength.
- There is less uncertainty and potential for change in refractive error (especially astigmatism) because the patient’s corneal structure is altered less.
- Suture-related problems can be minimized
- DSEK offers patient’s more rapid visual recovery than standard corneal transplantation.