What is a DSEK procedure?
DSEK stands for Descemet’s Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty. This is a type of corneal transplant where only the back layer of the cornea, the endothelium, is transplanted. This is different than a penetrating full thickness keratoplasty where the entire cornea is transplanted.
The endothelium of the cornea is the back layer of the cornea. It is responsible for pumping fluid out of the cornea and keeping the cornea from swelling. If the endothelium becomes damaged from diseases like Fuchs’ corneal dystrophy, the cornea can become very swollen resulting in poor vision and pain.
What is the main indication for a DSEK procedure?
The DSEK procedure is utilized for cases of endothelial disease like Fuchs’ corneal dystrophy where the endothelium is defective and degenerates leading to significant corneal swelling. When the symptoms of blurred vision and pain are significant, a DSEK procedure can be used to replace the damaged endothelium with healthy donor endothelial tissue.
This type of corneal transplant may be safer and offers a faster recovery for patients than a traditional penetrating full thickness corneal transplant. The DSEK procedure is not effective in cases of keratoconus or where there are scars in the cornea from trauma, herpes infections, chemical burns, etc.
Please contact Denver Eye Surgeons if you have Fuchs’ corneal dystrophy and are experiencing symptoms of corneal swelling. All of our doctors are trained in diagnosing and treating corneal diseases. We do have a cornea specialist on staff for when a DSEK procedure may be necessary. We are known as the Denver Colorado DSEK cornea specialists.