DSAEK (Descemet’s stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty) is a revolutionary corneal transplant surgery procedure that is significantly safer than traditional corneal transplant surgery. Our Ophthalmic Consultants of Connecticut eye surgeons are among the select few in the region who offer this leading-edge treatment for our Fairfield cornea transplant surgery patients.
How and Why Is DSAEK Better?
In order to understand why DSAEK is better, we must first understand traditional corneal transplant surgery.
Conventional corneal transplant surgery, also known as penetrating keratoplasty (PK) or full-thickness corneal transplant surgery, involves the surgical replacement of the entire central corneal tissue. Due to the invasiveness of the procedure, this type of corneal transplant surgery requires a lengthy recovery (up to 12 months or more) as well as several stitches in the eye, which increase the risk of wound complications. In addition, due to the amount of transplanted tissue, traditional corneal transplant surgery poses a higher threat of transplant rejection.
Unlike conventional PK, the DSAEK procedure involves the surgical replacement of only the damaged inner layer of the cornea. During this procedure, the back layer of the cornea is extracted through a small incision on the surface of the eye and replaced with healthy donor tissue. The tissue is secured in place with a controlled burst of air. Finally, the incision is closed with only one to two stitches, if needed.
The DSAEK corneal transplant surgery leads to less patient discomfort, enhanced safety and a shorter, smoother recovery. Full recovery is often achieved within a few weeks.
Life After DSAEK Surgery
Individuals who undergo the DSAEK procedure are generally able to return to work within a few days. Regular follow-up appointments and the use of anti-inflammatory and steroid eye drops are important to minimize the risk of complications. Due to the unique shape of the patient’s cornea, corneal transplant surgery often causes nearsightedness and astigmatism, which can be corrected with laser eye surgery after recovery. For the first couple of months after DSAEK, vision acuity may fluctuate.
Individuals who suffer from corneal tissue damage, keratoconus, chemical burns, edema (swelling of the cornea) and complications after previous corneal transplant surgery usually qualify to receive a corneal transplant.
Your candidacy for the DSAEK procedure can only be determined by an experienced medical professional.
Please contact us today to schedule your consultation appointments with one of our corneal transplant surgeons.