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.
"My vision correction is experience at the Chu Vision Institute couldn’t have been better. Though their pre screen process Dr. Chu and his staff take extreme care to ensure you and your eyes are a good fit for laser correction surgery. Once it is was determined that LASIK was the best option for me, Dr. Chu’s awesome staff was on point getting me ready for my procedure. Dr. Chu even did a video call with me a couple of days before the procedure to answer any additional questions I had and to describe the procedure itself. The day after my LASIK procedure I was seeing 20/15 in both eyes !! The only regret I have is that I waited so long to get my eyes fixed. The Chu Vision Institute gave me my vision back and I am super grateful! Thank you all for taking such good care of me and my eyes. Best, Todd-"- T.F. / Google / Dec 11, 2021
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"I had LASIK at Chu Vision last week and couldn’t recommend them highly enough. They provided a great consultation and advised on the best procedure for my eyes. Every detail (large and small) was planned for, and the whole process was very smooth. Best investment I’ve ever made!"- J.M. / Google / Apr 26, 2021
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.