Descemet’s Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK) is a new advancement in corneal transplantation. In a DMEK procedure, only the inner layers of the cornea are replaced. As with DSAEK, this is much less invasive than a traditional keratoplasty, which requires replacement of the full cornea and may alter its shape and therefore the patient’s eyesight.
The posterior corneal layers are taken from a donor for this grafting procedure. Once the patient’s own damaged tissue is removed from the cornea, the donor replacement tissue is carefully placed at the rear of the cornea. Since only inner layers of the cornea are replaced in a DMEK procedure, the recovery is typically much faster and easier than in older methods, with most patients achieving improved visual acuity within a week after the surgery.