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DSLEK Corneal Transplantation

Corneal transplantation is a very delicate microsurgical procedure that requires the experience and skills of a specially trained eye surgeon. Fortunately, patients in need of this special procedure have the experience of OMNI Eye Specialists on their side.

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What is the Cornea?

The cornea is the clear, living tissue on the very front part of the eye. Light passes through the clear cornea on its path toward the retina in the back part of the eye. Sometimes, the cornea is referred to as the "window" to the eye.

Occasionally, either through disease or injury, the corneal tissue is damaged to a point where light can no longer effectively pass through it, resulting in reduced vision. Where indicated by an OMNI Eye ophthalmologist, a corneal transplant procedure may be performed to replace the damaged cornea with a clear donor cornea. This is an extremely delicate microsurgical procedure performed by the highly skilled, specially trained eye specialists at OMNI.

What is DSLEK Corneal Transplantation?

DSLEK is a corneal transplant technique where the unhealthy, diseased, posterior portion of a patient’s cornea is removed and replaced with healthy donor tissue obtained from the eye bank. Unlike conventional corneal transplant surgery known as penetrating keratoplasty (PKP), the DSLEK procedure:

  • Utilizes a much smaller surgical incision and requires no corneal sutures
  • Typically results in more rapid visual rehabilitation for the DSLEK patient
  • Reduces the risk of sight threatening complications that may occur with the PKP procedure such as intraoperative expulsive hemorrhage or post-operative traumatic wound rupture.

Corneal Transplant Surgery – What to Expect

Your OMNI Eye doctor is focused on your optimal eye health and comfort. If a DSLEK corneal transplant is recommended, you can rest assured that the staff at OMNI Eye Specialists is here to walk you through every step of your journey, from your initial consultation to your surgery and recovery. Our staff is here to answer any questions and allay any concerns you may have before and after your procedure. OMNI Eye physicians are specially trained in the delicate microsurgical technique, ensuring optimal outcomes for our patients.

Before Your Corneal Transplant

Once it is determined that a corneal transplant is right for you, the staff at OMNI Eye Specialists will put your name on the transplant list at your local eye bank. It may take a few weeks or longer to find a suitable corneal donor.

During The Procedure

The OMNI Eye staff will work to ensure your utmost comfort before, during and after your corneal transplantation. At our state-of-the-art ambulatory surgical center, Dulaney Eye Institute, you will be given local or general anesthesia (depending on the extent of the corneal disease or injury, your age, general health and other factors determined by your physician). The DSLEK procedure utilizes a much smaller surgical incision and requires no corneal sutures. This usually results in more rapid visual rehabilitation for the DSLEK patient and also reduces the risk of sight threatening complications.

After The Procedure

Your OMNI Eye physician will follow-up with you to ensure your healthy recovery. In most cases, patients experience acceptable vision recovery within a couple of months, with some patients experiencing a quicker return to normal vision. Recovery usually depends on a patient’s age and the overall eye health of the patient.

  • Your optimal eye care and health is our number one priority. If you have any questions about vision continues to gradually improve over the next several weeks to months.

Are You A Candidate?

Your OMNI Eye physician will perform all necessary evaluations to determine if a DSLEK corneal transplant is right for you. Typically, patients who experience one or more of the following symptoms may be candidates for the transplant:

  • Severely damaged cornea due to disease or eye injury
  • Vision problems that do not respond to other corrective medical eye treatments
  • Painful swelling not relieved by eye medications
  • Failure of the cornea after other eye surgeries such as cataract surgery

For more information or a consultation, please visit the Keratoconus Institute of Maryland website, or call (410) 324-MDKC (6352) today to schedule your appointment.

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