Corneal Transplants

corneal_transplantDr. Garrett uses the latest technology in corneal transplantation.

Corneal transplantation, also known as corneal grafting or penetrating keratoplasty, is a surgical procedure in which a damaged or diseased cornea is replaced by donor corneal tissue. The tissue comes from a recently deceased individual with no known diseases that could affect the viability of the donated tissue. The cornea is the clear part of eye in front of the iris and pupil.

The most common type of corneal transplant is called “penetrating keratoplasty.” During this procedure, Dr. Garrett removes a small round piece of the cornea. The donated cornea is then sewn into the opening of the eye. The stitches are removed at a follow-up visit.

DSEK Corneal Surgery

The newest technique that Dr. Garrett employs for corneal transplantation is called DSEK, (Descemet’s Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty) in which the diseased Descemet’s membrane is removed and replaced by a healthy donor posterior transplant.

DSEK uses only a small incision that is either self-sealing or may be closed with a few sutures. The small incision offers several benefits over traditional methods of corneal transplant such as Penetrating Keratoplasty. Because the procedure is less invasive, DSEK leaves the eye much stronger and less prone to injury than full-thickness transplants. Additionally, DSEK has a more rapid rate of visual recovery. Vision is typically restored in several weeks rather than many months.

Not all patients with diseased corneas are candidates for endothelial keratoplasty. These procedures correct corneal endothelial failure, but are not able to correct corneal scarring, thinning, or surface irregularity.