DSAEK (Decemet's Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty) is a corneal surgery procedure for extreme instances of cornea problems and diseases, like Fuch's Dystrophy, or for severely damaged corneas.
The cornea is the outer surface of your eye and is a remarkable structure that helps to focus light and protect the internal structures of the eye.
The shape of the cornea is important to the focusing of light on the retina in the back of the eye. A properly shaped cornea and healthy lens will allow this light to focus clearly, providing crisp vision. It is also important that the cornea remain clear so the light can pass through to the retina without being interrupted. If the cornea gets hazy or cloudy, or if the shape of the cornea becomes irregular, vision can be impaired. Some causes of this include age, trauma or disease. When vision is impaired enough to affect a patient’s daily functioning, it may need to be totally or partially replaced by a corneal transplant procedure or DSAEK.
Fuchs’ Dystrophy patients are the primary group of patients needing a DSAEK procedure. Fuchs’ endothelial dystrophy (FED) is a degenerative disorder of the corneal endothelium leading to corneal edema and loss of vision. Fuchs' Dystrophy causes a gradual decline in vision due to corneal swelling and clouding. With DSAEK surgery, the patient can return to a life of clear, uninterrupted vision with a healthy cornea.
Patients first receive a full evaluation and testing at Premium Eye Centers so that our Miami cornea doctor, Nelson Preschel, M.D. can best determine the patient’s treatment options, including the need for DSAEK surgery. One week prior to surgery, the staff at Premium Eye Centers begins the process of procuring donor corneal tissue in preparation for the patient’s DSAEK surgery and schedules all appropriate operating room time at the surgical facility.
On the day of surgery, the patient will arrive at the surgery center approximately one hour prior to surgery for preparation. The patient must not eat anything after midnight the day before surgery and will begin pre-operative medications three days prior to surgery as instructed. Prior to the patient’s surgery Dr, Nelson Preschel will prepare for surgery by determining the type of tissue to be used and selecting the technique needed to ensure the best surgical outcomes possible.
During the surgery, Dr. Preschel will make a small, precise incision and replace either the entire cornea, or only the damaged layers of the cornea (depending on the severity of the damage) with new donor tissue.
After the approximately one hour surgery, the patient must lie flat on their back so the air can push up into the cornea and hold the new tissue in position. Once the tissue sticks to the cornea, it will begin to function and pump the water out of the cornea, clearing vision. Vision improves fairly rapidly, with final visual results obtained in approximately 1-6 months after surgery.
If you want to learn more about corneal surgery or think you are a likely candidate for a corneal transplant, contact Premium Eye Centers in Pembroke Pines, FL today for your consultation.