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.
"Bare with my lengthy review but if you’re like me, I wanted to know what others true thoughts were and I scoured as many reviews as possible to make sure I was making the best decision for me and my eyes. I am SO, SO thankful for Dr. Chu and Dr. Heckman’s expertise and honesty. I decided it was time to get Lasik and went in for my consultation. From check-in to my latest follow up, everyone at the Chu Vision Institute was friendly, warm, and helpful. Due to some past corneal scarring, Dr. Chu recommended that I get Lasik on one eye and PRK (ASA) on the other. I was extremely nervous about PRK because of the slightly longer recovery time and I really just wanted to wake up and have 20/20 vision like my friends who have had Lasik. The day of my procedure, they made sure I had all my questions and concerns answered before they let me in to have my surgery. That was extremely comforting to me and Dr. Heckman explained why PRK was recommended over Lasik. Simply put, I wouldn’t have had a good outcome if Dr. Chu had performed Lasik on both eyes. Both procedures went well and Dr. Chu confirmed his right decision during the procedure which took all of maybe 10 minutes for both eyes. As instructed, I went home and rested and could literally see 20/20 the next day with my Lasik eye. The PRK eye takes a little longer to heal but can already see better! (I was worried my blurry eye would affect my vision, but it did not). Recovery has been great and will continue to get better in the next few weeks. Now my husband wants to get his eyes done. Chu Vision Institute has exceeded my expectations and I am very happy with my results!"- E.M. / Google / Oct 20, 2020
"Absolutely amazing clinic. They are extremely in depth with there exams which made me feel even more comfortable. (I'm always a little nervous with my eyes). They do a great job of explaining everything along the way and are extremely friendly. I would recommend any friends and family to them. They are also taking precautions with COVID seriously. I felt very safe the entire time I was in their office."- A.W. / Google / Jan 02, 2021
"I’m so impressed with Chu Vision!! Everything inside is totally sanitized and they have a state of the art filtration system. I have never felt safer! It’s so clean, you could eat off the floor. The entire staff is incredible! Everyone is so friendly, welcoming and professional. I have been going to Chu Vision for the past 10 years and I will never go anywhere else. Thank you for your wonderful service!"- J.T. / Google / Dec 19, 2020
"I had cataracts removed from both eyes. Dr. Chu and his staff were wonderful to work with. From the exam to the surgical procedure and recovery, everyone was very professional and pleasant . I had a perfect outcome and would highly recommend the Chu vision Clinic."- B.S. / Google / Oct 02, 2020
"I’ve been going to Chu vision for about three years now and and I’ve had excellent service each and every time. They follow me yearly for my dry eye condition. They are extremely thorough and take the time to answer all my questions. Highly recommend them."- C.S. / Google / Jul 31, 2020
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.