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Descemet Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK)

Ever heard of a partial corneal transplant? For most who have difficulty with their vision, choosing between glasses and contact lenses or even refractive surgery like LASIK seem to be the options that come up first. By correcting the front part of the eye with corrective eyewear or laser correction, vision can be restored quite easily. However, certain corneal irregularities can complicate and prevent a person from wearing standard contacts or prescription glasses. Depending on the irregularity of the cornea, the different condition, thickness, or shape of the cornea might even LASIK can’t be performed. Plus, some corneal irregularities develop into such a critical situation over time that they require a corneal transplant to restore vision.

For years, a full corneal transplant or penetrating keratoplasty was performed by an ophthalmologist to replace the entire cornea with a new cornea from a donor. Today, however, ophthalmologists have utilized DSAEK as an alternative to replacing the entire cornea. DSAEK stands for Descemet’s Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty, which means that a portion of the external section of the cornea is transplanted. Compared to a full transplant, DSAEK relies on precision and addressing the complications of the eye at the surface in a unique fashion. While a patient before surgery would experience various symptoms with an irregular cornea, DSAEK has provided a successful path to restoring vision with fast recovery times. The implementation of DSAEK has become a staple for many eye surgeons in handling many conditions related to the cornea.

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