Cornea Transplants/DSEK

Dr. Murray Friedberg is a fellowship-trained corneal specialist performing several cornea transplant techniques. More than 45,000 cornea transplants are performed worldwide each year with excellent success rates for many diagnoses. Surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis, allowing the patient to go home the same day. Additional surgery may be performed at the time of corneal transplantation – cataract removal, intraocular lens implantation or replacement.

Human 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. Because of the availability of corneal tissue, surgery can often be scheduled as an elective procedure at a time convenient for the patient.

As with any type of surgery, there are risks associated with corneal transplant surgery. These include infection, graft rejection, glaucoma, retinal detachment and swelling. If there are complications, additional surgery could be needed and vision could be lost.

The cornea has five layers. The outermost layer is the Epithelium. A corneal abrasion occurs when this layer is injured. Bowman’s layer is just beneath the epithelium. The Stroma is the thickest central part of the cornea. Scar tissue in the Stroma can block the light going through the cornea and cause blurred vision. The innermost layer of the cornea is the Endothelium, a single layer of cells that pumps fluid out of the cornea to make it clear. This layer is attached to the stroma by Descemet’s membrane.

There are two types of cornea transplantation performed at Coastal Eye Institute: Descemet’s