Endothelial Transplantation


(Descemet’s Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty)

DSAEK is another type of partial-thickness corneal transplant. It is used in patients with corneal swelling caused by poor function of the interior endothelial cells of the cornea. This swelling may be caused by problems such as Fuch’s corneal dystrophy or after other eye surgeries such as cataract surgery.

In DASEK, only the back layer of the cornea is removed, consisting of the endothelial cells and the Descemet’s membrane that holds the cells. A partial thickness of the donor cornea, containing new endothelial cells, then is implanted to replace the dysfunctional cells.


(Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty)

DMEK is a partial-thickness corneal transplant, very similar to DSAEK.  In DMEK, only the internal endothelial cells on a thin membrane are transplanted into your eye to replace your cornea’s damaged cells.

Unlike DSAEK, the donor tissue from the eye bank does not include any stromal tissue and is thinner.  It is purely a replacement of the endothelium which may give better visual results and a quicker recovery for some patients.

Some indications for DMEK are similar to those of DSAEK.  These include Fuchs corneal dystrophy, pseudophakic bullous keratopathy, and other endothelial dystrophies.

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