Ophthalmology Midtown East Ophthalmology Midtown East Ophthalmology Midtown East
Ophthalmology Midtown East Ophthalmology Midtown East Ophthalmology Midtown East
Ophthalmology Midtown East
  • Ophthalmology Midtown East

Corneal Surgery

Corneal Transplant

Corneal Transplant | DSAEK | Midtown EastThe cornea is the clear covering on the front of the eye which bends, or refracts, light rays that focus on the retina in the back of the eye. The cornea must be clear and have a certain shape or curvature in order for light to focus properly on the retina.

Corneal transplantation, or keratoplasty, is recommended when extensive damage has occurred due to disease, infection or injury. Common problems that require transplantation are:

  • Corneal Ulceration
  • Herpes Simplex Keratopathy
  • Pseudophakic Corneal Decompensation
  • Keratoconus
  • Corneal Dystrophies
  • Eye infections
  • Traumatic injury
  • Ocular surface diseases
  • Chemical burn

Transplantation involves replacing the entire thickness of the damaged cornea with a healthy one from a donor (usually through an eye bank). The new cornea is stitched into place, and stitches are usually removed over the course of a year, although some may be left permanently. It may take this long for vision to be restored to satisfactory levels as well, requiring many patients to wear glasses or contact lenses after this procedure.

Corneal Transplantation - DSAEK

In patients with specific types of corneal disease, technological advances have allowed the development of a new procedure called Descemet's stripping and automated endothelial keratoplasty, or DSAEK for short. This procedure replaces only the innermost layers of the cornea, including the endothelial layer. This allows the procedure to be performed through a much smaller incision with shorter recovery times and fewer risks than a traditional corneal transplant.

DSAEK is commonly performed on patients with Fuchs' Dystrophy, an inherited eye disease that causes the cells of the endothelium to deteriorate, resulting in distorted vision and corneal swelling. As this condition progresses, vision will continue to worsen as damaged cells cannot grow back.

DSAEK Procedure

During the DSAEK procedure, your surgeon will remove the damaged endothelial tissue. The donor tissue is then folded and implanted in the eye. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotic and steroid eye drops to be used as the eye heals. You will need to return to your doctor the next day for a follow-up appointment as well.

Most patients notice improvements to their vision significantly faster than with the traditional corneal transplant procedure, which may take 12 months before effective results are achieved. Other existing eye conditions may slow or hinder the improvement of vision after the DSAEK procedure.

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 your doctor to prevent any damage from occurring.

To learn more about corneal transplant surgery, please call 212-753-6464 today to schedule a consultation.


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Treatments We Offer

Ophthalmology Midtown East
485 Park Avenue (entrance on 58th St.)
New York, NY 10022
Tel: (212) 753-6464
Fax: (212) 753-6469