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Cornea Transplants/DSEK

Our fellowship-trained cornea transplant
surgeons perform DSEK surgery on an
outpatient basis.


There are many situations where a cornea transplant may be necessary. Corneal scars from previous injuries or infections, keratoconus and Fuchs dystrophy are just some of the most common reasons. Dr. Davis and Dr. Friedberg are Cornea fellowship-trained in performing the latest in cornea transplant techniques. More than 45,000 cornea transplants are performed worldwide each year, with excellent success rates. Each surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, allowing the patient to go home later that day. There are 2 types of cornea transplant (Penetrating Keratoplasty, DSEK) performed at Coastal Eye Institute. Each type of transplant has a specific technique and indication.

Penetrating Keratoplasty (PK)

To the right is a before and after picture of a penetrating Keratoplasty. Penetrating Keratoplasty is a full thickness replacement of the central cornea with donor tissue. The procedure involves removing a circle of tissue (about 8 mm in diameter) from the patient's cornea. This is performed with special microsurgical instruments. A donor tissue is prepared by removing a matching circle of corneal tissue from the donated cornea. The new cornea is then secured to the patient's eye with delicate sutures, which are barely visible and do not irritate the eye. These sutures hold the tissue in place while the wound heals, which is a slow process. Additional surgery may be performed at the time of corneal transplantation to remove a cataract, replace an intraocular lens implant, control glaucoma or repair the retina. During the first few weeks after surgery, the vision is usually blurred but progressively begins to clear. After two to three months of healing, some of the sutures may be removed and spectacles may be prescribed to focus the vision. However, it may take six months or more before the full recovery of vision has been achieved.

Donor tissue is provided by an eye bank, which carefully screens the tissue. Federal regulations require eye banks to screen all tissue for AIDS, Hepatitis, and a variety of other diseases; only healthy tissue, which is free of disease, may be used for transplant surgery. Because of the availability of corneal tissue, surgery can be scheduled as an elective procedure at a time convenient for the patient and surgeon.

As with any type of surgery, there are risks associated with corneal transplant surgery. The most important risk is rejection of the transplant. Fortunately, the risk of rejection is small (5% to 10% for most conditions requiring transplantation) and usually controllable with topical medications.


DSEK (Descemets Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty)

DSEK is an exciting procedure developed over the past 10 years. DSEK is indicated when a patient only has a problem with the inner lining of the cornea, called Descemets membrane. Fuchs dystrophy is an example of such a condition. This involves replacing only the damaged portion of the cornea, leaving the patient's healthy cornea behind. DSEK offers a much quicker recovery time versus the traditional transplant method, allowing patients to recover in weeks rather than months. The picture to the right shows a DSEK graft with a small air bubble to keep it in place, immediately following surgery. The air bubble disappears in the first 24 hours leaving a clear graft behind.

DSEK Surgery



Why Choose CEI?

Coastal Eye Institute (formerly Manatee Sarasota Eye Clinic) is one of the area’s largest ophthalmology practices featuring a comprehensive team of fellowship-trained ophthalmologists in every subspecialty of eye care.From infancy to the golden years...we provide care for the total health of your eyes. Trust your eye care to our specialists!


Coastal Eye Institute has fellowship-trained ophthalmologists in every specialty of eye care:

  • ➢ Laser Cataract Surgery
  • ➢ Glaucoma
  • ➢ Macular Degeneration
  • ➢ Diabetic Retinopathy
  • ➢ Dry Eye Disease
  • ➢ LASIK Laser Vision Correction
  • ➢ Neuro-Ophthalmology
  • ➢ Pediatric Eye Care
  • ➢ Routine Eye Care
Schedule an Appointment

We are happy to work with your busy schedule! With nine physicians and four offices, we are confident we can find a time, day and location that is convenient for you. Call 941-748-1818 and let us help you on your way to seeing more clearly!


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