New Stitchless Advances in Corneal Transplantation Surgery Speed Recovery | The Princeton Eye Group


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New Stitchless Advances in Corneal Transplantation Surgery Speed Recovery

Dr. Anita I. Miedziak, Director of Cornea Services at the Princeton Eye Group, performs the most advanced techniques in corneal transplantation with reduced risk of astigmatism and shorter recovery times.

DSEK (Descemet Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty) is a new option in corneal surgery. DSEK is a partial thickness corneal transplant. It is offered to patients with persistent corneal swelling due to Fuchs dystrophy, failed corneal transplants, swelling induced by prior eye surgery or the aging process of the eye. In those cases DSEK can substitute traditional corneal transplantation and is performed without sutures. The advantages of the DSEK procedure include:

Significantly faster visual recovery since no additional astigmatism is induced (2-3 months vs. over a year with standard corneal transplantation)

Chances of corneal rejection are markedly reduced • Only the diseased layer of tissue is removed instead of the entire cornea –leaving the eye stronger –maintaining its normal resistance to injury

DSEK can be combined with cataract surgery

DSEK is performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia and takes approximately 30 minutes. The DSEK procedure removes the unhealthy endothelial cell layer and replaces it with healthy cells from a donor cornea. In order to make the new tissue adhere to the back of the old cornea, an air bubble is used to fill the front part of the eye for an hour after surgery. A follow-up visit is required the day after surgery.

Patients can return to their normal activities within two weeks with the exception of swimming. An antibiotic eye drop is used for two weeks and a steroid drop is used for at least a year to prevent graft rejection. Rejections are rare and treatable.

IEK (IntraLase Enabled Keratoplasty) is a new revolutionary way of performing full thickness corneal transplantation procedure utilizing a laser. The IntraLase laser is used to replace the diseased cornea in a precise fashion thus reducing postoperative astigmatism and corneal surface irregularity speeding up the visual rehabilitation. The IntraLase laser procedure also reduces the need for stitches making recovery both easier and faster.