What Is DSEK?
The health of the inner corneal layers is essential to your vision and eye health because the cornea helps focus light into your eye so you can see clearly. If your cornea becomes swollen or cloudy from corneal endothelial disease, you may need a corneal transplant to improve the vitality of your cornea. Thanks to newer advancements in technology, a full-thickness corneal transplant may not be needed for patients with diseased or damaged corneas. A partial-thickness corneal transplant, known as Descemet's stripping endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK), removes only the inner corneal layer (endothelium). That section is replaced with a thin sample of donor tissue to provide better vision. This is unlike a full-thickness transplant, which involves removing and replacing the entire cornea. Board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Ralph Chu utilizes cutting-edge technology to perform DSEK surgeries for patients with various types of severe corneal disease or injury. To learn more, contact Chu Vision Institute in Bloomington, MN to schedule a consultation.
"Where to even begin. I had been eagerly anticipating laser vision correction for at least 5 years but life continued to get in the way. I finally was in a position to move forward and found Dr. Chu and his practice upon moving to MN. I honestly do not have the words to express how thoroughly satisfied I am and continue to be with the entire experience. From the initial evaluation to the expert guidance, seamless follow up appointments, excellent communication, wonderful and friendly staff, truly knowledgeable physicians and providers who take the time to answer your questions, I could not be more pleased. I had initially wanted to have SMILE performed but, through the counsel of Drs. Heckman and Chu, underwent ASA with phenomenal results (and the vision continues to sharpen daily which is such an amazing thing to experience). Dr. Chu was able to take my vision from 20/500 (mostly from extremely severe astigmatism with coincident myopia) to 20/20. Most importantly, I was seeing 20/30 in my right eye the day following surgery and 20/20 by the 3-day follow up. At the risk of making this review too lengthy, I have to pay my respect not only to Dr. Chu's practice but to all the individuals who work there. From Dr. Hassan to Dr. Hampton, surgical intake nurses and all the techs, they legitimately made me feel like family. More than that, the work performed at this facility is second to none. I have already referred several colleagues for vision correction at Chu Vision. To top it off, Dr. Chu is honestly a stand up guy with some pretty amazing extracurriculars :) To anyone I may have missed, THANK YOU! Genuinely changing lives for the better. TL;DR - If you care about your eyes and want high-quality, complete care, look no further than Chu Vision. You will not be disappointed."- N.A. / Google / Aug 04, 2022
"I’m absolutely astounded at how instantly my vision was improved! I’ve gone from needing glasses for everything to having 20/20 vision again! I’m rather hesitant when it comes to needing anything medical. And now I want to tell everyone how incredible Dr Chu and his team are. From the folks helping to check you in to the kind and caring support on each and every visit, this has been my best experience EVER! Thank you to Nic, Asha and the research team, to all the Drs and the surgical team and to Dr Chu for believing in making a difference For ALL your eye needs, big or small, there is only one place you want to be. Chu Vision institute. Best decision I have made."- S.K. / Google / Sep 09, 2022
"This staff is absolutely amazing!!! They talk to you as a human and take the time to explain what they are going to do. They spend time answering questions and concerns. Dr. Chu and his team…I honestly couldn’t have asked for more. They genuinely care, and you can hear it in their voices. I was nervous, and as an adult male that can be….belittling…but they were amazing! They actually pumped up my confidence. I will never go anywhere else for my eyes. I plan on scheduling all my appointments with them. Give them a chance, they will not disappoint. I heard it in the waiting room, everyone was happy and appreciative. Thank you all for making my life better!"- B.J. / Google / Jun 10, 2022
"Dr. Chu did a wonderful job with my SMILE procedure, taking my -5.75 and -6 prescriptions to 20/20. My results are amazing, yes... but I think that being as nervous as I was, the thing that really made this experience phenomenal was the care that Dr. Chu, Dr. Heckman, and the whole team provided. I appreciate that they took the time to talk to me about all of my concerns before I scheduled my procedure - have really dialed in the actual day of your appointment so it's smooth and efficient and you always know what's going on and what to expect - and that they have continued to provide that level of care at every follow up appointment. I have always received such a warm welcome every time I have visited, and am grateful that they always find time to address any questions or concerns. PS - a special thank you to every technician I've been fortunate enough to meet at my appointments, you all provided such lovely, friendly conversation!"- N.M. / Google / Jun 28, 2022
"Can't speak highly enough about the results and experience I had with Dr. Chu and his team. After a Lasik procedure I have 20/20 vision. I was obviously a little concerned about having someone mess around with my eyeball with a laser... but the whole team at Chu Vision made me feel comfortable with the procedure and recovery and ensured I felt supported at every step. The procedure was a breeze - Dr. Chu has a great bedside manner and made me feel comfortable I was in good hands. Recovery was straightforward and it's now a full month that I've had great vision and not had to worry about corrective lenses. If you're considering refractive surgery with Chu, do it. My only regret is that I didn't do this sooner."- B.A. / Google / Aug 03, 2022
Who Needs DSEK?
The most common candidates for DSEK are individuals with Fuchs' dystrophy, an inherited condition that causes blurry or cloudy vision. Other symptoms include pain around the eye, as well as glare or halos around lights. DSEK is also a recommended treatment for some patients with other eye diseases or injuries. Regardless of your specific corneal issue, Dr. Chu and the caring team at Chu Vision Institute will provide a full eye evaluation and any needed testing to determine your personalized course of treatment to improve your eye health.
Surgical technique for DSEK
DSEK is an outpatient procedure lasting about 45 – 60 minutes, performed at Chu Vision Institute. First, numbing drops will be used to anesthetize your eyes to help keep you comfortable, and light sedation may be administered. Then, Dr. Chu will make a small incision at the edge of the cornea to allow him to retrieve and remove the damaged or injured section. Next, he will utilize a special instrument to insert a very thin sample of healthy donor tissue into the same tiny opening. A gas or air bubble will be used to secure the tissue into place. The incision should heal up on its own so stitches are typically not needed. Afterward, a bandage contact lens may be placed over your eye.
What to Expect after DSEK
For patients who qualify, DSEK can be an ideal option to treat corneal disease because it has a lower rejection risk and shorter recovery time than a traditional full-thickness transplant. After your procedure, our team will give you detailed post-operation guidelines for at-home care, such as keeping your head facing up for the next couple of days. It is critical to follow these instructions and attend any follow-up appointments at Chu Vision Institute to ensure proper healing and check for potential complications. With DSEK, you should begin to notice improved vision after the first two months, and you can expect to achieve 20/40 vision within about 5 – 6 months.
A Clear Choice for Corneal Surgery
DSEK can effectively treat corneal swelling and blurred vision in patients with corneal damage or disease. With this innovative method for a partial-thickness corneal transplant, damaged cells are removed and replaced with a healthy donor graft. Find out if you are a candidate for DSEK by reaching out to Chu Vision Institute in Bloomington, MN to schedule an appointment with Dr. Chu.