DSEK stands for Descemet's Stripping with Endothelial Keratoplasty. DSEK is a newer cornea transplant technique that replaces the damaged cell layer only, instead of replacing the entire thickness of the cornea. By using this technique, the cornea heals much faster and stronger and the patient's visual recovery is better.

Because DSEK leaves a smoother interface and significantly improves the visual results, it has become a preferred method for treatment of the eye diseases, Fuchs' Dystrophy and pseudophakic bullous keratopathy.

The DSEK procedure is known to overcome many of these problems associated with a standard corneal transplant. Only the abnormal inner lining of the cornea is removed with the DSEK procedure. A thin, circular disc is then removed from the inner lining of a donor cornea and this is folded and placed inside of the eye. Once the donor cornea is inserted into the eye, an air bubble pushes it in place until it heals in an appropriate position. Sutures are not required and the structure of the cornea remains intact, leading to less astigmatism and a faster visual recovery.

The DSEK procedure takes approximately 45 minutes and is done under local anesthesia. After surgery, for the first 24 hours, you will be asked to lie on your back with your face pointed directly to the ceiling for as much time as you can tolerate. This will help the graft stay in position as the air bubble holds it up into place on your cornea. Eye drops will be perscribed to prevent infection as well as to help the eye heal comfortably. After the first 48 hours there are minimal restrictions to your activities and vision is usually better within one week. By one month, 80% of the healing has taken place. Vision will continue to slowly improve over the next four to six months.

To learn more about DSEK, click on the video animations below.

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