DSEK - Descemet Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty

Blurry vision can be frustrating and even dangerous. A common cause of blurry vision is damage to the cornea or the outermost layer of your eye. If you have diseased or injured tissue in the innermost layer, called the endothelium, it can lead to swelling and cloudiness in the cornea. The cornea helps you focus on light, so damaged cells often blur your vision.

Descemet Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK) is a corneal transplant procedure. The damaged, small cell layer of the cornea is removed and replaced with donor tissue. DSEK is a good solution for patients with Fuch’s Corneal Dystrophy (FCD) and Bullous Keratopathy.

If you have an injury or eye condition that causes this type of vision issue, you may be able to improve your vision with cornea surgery. Southwest Eyecare in Albuquerque, NM, has the experienced ophthalmologists and the advanced technology necessary to perform Descemet Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty, which may be the best treatment for you.

What is Descemet Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty?

Descemet Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK) is a partial thickness corneal transplant procedure. A full corneal transplant would have been used in the past to correct specific vision issues. This surgery relies on removing the entire thickness of the cornea and replacing it with the thickness of the whole donor tissue. A corneal transplant typically has a slow recovery time and can have mixed results. DSEK, on the other hand, typically has a shorter recovery period and better results. This is because only the diseased or injured layer of cells is replaced, which helps retain the structural integrity of the eye.

About the Procedure

A Descemet Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty surgery is usually completed within an hour, is minimally invasive, and has shorter post-operative care than other procedures.

DSEK is performed with local or general anesthesia:

  1. The surgeon will create a small incision on the edge of the cornea. Then they will remove the thin layer of damaged cells.
  2. They will insert the healthy, folded donor tissue.
  3. The surgeon will use an air bubble to help the donor tissue unfold and settle into the proper position against the cornea.

The eye will naturally absorb the air bubble within a few days, allowing the new cells to remain in the correct position. After the procedure, patients can expect to notice improved vision within a few weeks and will be able to return to all of their normal activities within a few months.

Is DSEK the Right Procedure for You?

The DSEK procedure can be used for patients with specific acquired or inherited vision issues that decrease vision due to corneal swelling. It is a good solution for patients with Fuch's Corneal Dystrophy (FCD) or Bullous Keratopathy. It may also be an option for patients who have suffered a traumatic eye injury or a previous eye surgery that damaged or did not correct the issue.

If you have one of these diagnoses and want to explore your vision correction options, one of our knowledgeable ophthalmologists can discuss your diagnosis and treatment possibilities.

Why Choose Southwest Eyecare?

Southwest Eyecare is Albuquerque's leading ophthalmologist center. We offer our patients comprehensive care when treating medical conditions and surgical needs. We are proud to use the most advanced technology and have the most compassionate doctors in Albuquerque, NM. Our expertise and experience combined with our superior customer service mean you will have dedicated staff providing only the best. Contact us today to schedule a consultation if you have questions about Descemet Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty treatment. We believe in open communication and education, so our staff is prepared to answer your questions and ease your concerns.

We want to make the entire process as simple and straightforward as possible. Call us at (505) 346-0500 to schedule your appointment. We are here to start your vision recovery process and make your life more manageable.


Our Location

7110 Wyoming Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109