Descemet’s Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK)

DSAEK is a novel technique in corneal transplantation. DSAEK offers clear post-operative vision and short recovery time for patients with Fuchs’ dystrophy (an inherited eye disease that affects eyesight) or patients in need of new corneas. DSAEK replaces only the innermost layer of cells within the cornea, known as the endothelium. This allows the procedure to be performed through a much smaller incision with shorter recovery times and fewer risks than a traditional corneal transplant.

During the procedure, the damaged section of the posterior cornea is removed from the eye. The donor cornea is prepared and inserted into the eye as accurately as possible to optimise donor survival. The new cornea unfolds on its own and the wound is closed. An air bubble is then injected underneath the donor cornea to facilitate its adherence to the recipient cornea. The pupil is dilated with eye drops.

Patients are sent to the recovery room for about one hour. Patients are expected to stay overnight in hospital and are checked by Dr. Kumar the following day. Patients are then given antibiotics and steroid eye drops and will return the next week for a follow-up appointment.

Recovery from DSAEK

Most patients notice improvements to their vision within the first two weeks after surgery, with results continuing to develop during the next four to six weeks. This is significantly faster than the traditional corneal transplant procedure, which may take six to 12 months before effective results are achieved. Other existing eye conditions may slow or hinder the improvement of vision after the DSAEK procedure.

Risks of DSAEK

While the DSAEK procedure is considered safe for most patients with cornea damage, there are certain risks involved with any type of surgical procedure, including infection, bleeding and more. Although rare, there is a risk of transplant rejection, which may result in redness, sensitivity to light and blurred vision. If you are experiencing these or any other symptoms after DSAEK, you should contact Dr Kumar to prevent any damage from occurring.

To learn more about the DSAEK corneal transplant procedure, and to find out whether or not this procedure is right for you, please call us today to schedule a consultation with us.

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