Descemet’s Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK)
DSAEK is a corneal surgery procedure for severe cases or corneal disease or for damaged corneas. If you are not familiar with the cornea it 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.
DSAEK is a relatively new, but well tested corneal surgery technique that can help some patients who previously required a full thickness corneal transplant. The procedure is similar to the traditional cornea transplant because both use donor corneas to replace damaged or disease corneas. Both the conventional corneal transplant technique and DSAEK require use of a donor cornea, but DSAEK replaces only the damaged posterior section of your cornea. This procedure, which requires minimal suturing, allows more rapid visual restoration, less discomfort, and a reduced risk of sight-threatening complications.
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