Endothelial Keratoplasty

Stockton / Modesto Endothelial Keratoplasty Specialist – Dr. Ash
Also serving Manteca, Tracy, Merced


With advancement in techniques and knowledge, there are certain conditions where only a specific portion of the cornea is affected. Therefore, only those affected portions are replaced. Around the year 2000, some corneal surgeons started with performing Deep Lamellar Endothelial Keratoplasty (DLEK), which replaced a portion of the inside cornea, and placed a new inlay in place. Below is Visante image of a patient of Dr. Ash that had DLEK Surgery. See how a portion was removed and then replaced.

Visante Image of a Deep Lamellar Endothelial Keratoplasty (DLEK) surgery

Unfortunately, DLEK did not result in universally accepted vision. DLEK was then transitioned to Descemet Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty around 2004. DSEK is also referred to as the Descemet Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty or DSAEK by many.  In this procedure, a very thin layer of the inner lining of the cornea is removed (not visible in the Visante image below) and simply an inlay of inner cornea is inserted in the eye and attached to the native cornea. See below, a DSEK/DSAEK image of Dr. Ash patient, this inlay is more like an addition to the cornea.

Visante image of Descemet Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK or DSAEK) one day after surgery.  The new corneal Tissue is attached.

The Above cornea best exemplifies the anatomic changes with DSEK first day after surgery. Once the Cornea is much more healed and the swelling is resolved, the below image 6 week later shows the progress.

Descemet Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK) Visante image 6 week after surgery

Most patients with perfectly healthy eyes, except for endothelial failure after a DSEK procedure may expect to have a 20/25 to 20/50 range of vision. Despite some loss of best corrected vision, patients are elated with how the fog of their vision is lifted and how quick the recovery is. Most patients have a 20/50 or better vision by one month.


Page last edited 07/04/11