DSEK / DMEK

These procedures are partial thickness corneal transplants which replace the innermost portion of the cornea rather than the full thickness of the cornea as in standard corneal transplants.

"I had stopped reading anything other than large print on the computer and slowly, life was become more and more restricted. Mr Hamada's skill and advice changed all that. He recommended DSEK surgery on both eyes, which proved to be painless with virtually no discomfort. I even got to lie on my back and do nothing for a couple of days. The world has come alive again - colours are vibrant and I can now read newspapers, even wearing my glasses."

DSEK / DMEK Patient

What Does DMEK Surgery Involve?

DMEK surgery (Descemet’s Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty ) is carried out when the eye’s innermost corneal layer (the endothelium) has failed. This is a layer of cells that work as a pump, draining fluid out of the eye so when the pump fails, the cornea becomes swollen and cloudy, reducing vision.

The surgery is a form of corneal transplant which involves the use of human donor corneal tissue. The endothelium is replaced with the donor graft, leaving only the healthy part of the cornea in place.

The procedure is done through a small incision in the side of the cornea and takes under an hour.

What Are The Benefits Of DMEK Surgery?

This surgery should improve your vision after one to two months with further improvement over a longer time. DMEK is like another corneal procedure called DSEK (Descemet’s stripping endothelial keratoplasty) but with DMEK, it is only the backing layer (Descemet’s membrane) that is removed from the donor.

Recovery After DMEK Surgery

After the operation, the eye will have a patch and there should be minimal discomfort. You should lie on your back for the first 24 hours then your surgeon will remove the patch and examine your eye. You will be given antibiotic and steroid drops to prevent infection and help healing.

What Are The Possible Complications Of DMEK Surgery?
As with all surgical procedures, there can be some risks. With DMEK surgery, there is a risk of corneal graft rejection, but this occurs less often than with other forms of corneal graft.

Your surgeon will discuss all the benefits and risks in full at your consultation. At the McIndoe Centre, we do everything we can to minimise risk of complications.

What Does DSEK Surgery Involve?

DSEK surgery (Descemet’s Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty)is carried out when the eye’s innermost corneal layer (the endothelium) has failed. This is a layer of cells that work as a pump, draining fluid out of the eye so when the pump fails, the cornea becomes swollen and cloudy, reducing vision.

The surgery is a form of corneal transplant which involves the use of human donor corneal tissue. The endothelium is replaced with the donor graft, leaving only the healthy part of the cornea in place.

The procedure is done through a small incision in the side of the cornea and takes under an hour.

What Are The Benefits Of DSEK Surgery?

This surgery should improve your vision after one to two months with further improvement over a longer time. DSEK surgery is like another corneal procedure called DMEK (Descemet’s membrane endothelial keratoplasty) but in DSEK the endothelium includes tissue from the stroma (one of the layers in the cornea).

Recovery After DSEK

After the operation, the eye will have a patch and there should be minimal discomfort. You should lie on your back for the first 24 hours then your surgeon will remove the patch and examine your eye. You will be given antibiotic and steroid drops to prevent infection and help healing.

What Are The Possible Complications Of DSEK Surgery?

As with all surgical procedures, there can be some risks. With DSEK surgery, there is a risk of corneal graft rejection, but this occurs less often than with other forms of corneal graft. There is also the risk of glaucoma.

At The McIndoe Centre, we do everything we can to minimise the risk of complications. Your surgeon will talk to you about any possible specific complications before you decide to have your operation.

How to Find Us

See directions from our most popular locations: London, Tunbridge Wells, Reigate, Redhill, Haywards Heath, Horsham, Dorking.

For more information, we would be delighted if you wanted to arrange a consultation with us. You can call the Helpline for free and professional advice.

This article was written by The McIndoe Centre, in collaboration with Samer Hamada MD, MSc, DO(hons), FRCSEd, FRCOphth Consultant Ophthalmic, Corneal and Refractive Surgeon. All information, advice and procedures were updated on 17th September 2019.