If your cornea gets hazy or cloudy, or if the shape of your cornea becomes irregular, vision can be impaired. Some causes of this include age, trauma or disease. When vision is impaired enough to affect your daily functioning, you may be in need of a total or partial corneal transplant procedure. New technologies have made this an exciting time for corneal transplantation, allowing surgeons to provide even newer techniques, such as DSAEK, to patients with specific corneal needs.
A very common cause of a cloudy cornea is a damaged endothelial (inner) layer of the cornea. This layer is one cell layer thick and can be damaged by surgery or trauma, or the cells can die too quickly over time (a condition known as Fuchs’ Dystrophy). When there are not enough endothelial cells, water can build in the cornea causing cloudy vision and vision loss. DSAEK is a highly refined technique that replaces just the endothelial layer of the cornea, allowing surgeons to target the specific cause of your vision loss. In the DSAEK procedure the damaged cells are stripped from your eye and replaced with a very thin portion of a donor cornea.