DMEK is short for Descemet's membrane endothelial keratoplasty. This procedure is very similar to DSAEK, except that the donor tissue we implant is even thinner than after DSAEK, with only the Descemet’s membrane and endothelium. As in DSAEK, there is an air bubble placed in the eye, so the patient must remain flat on his/her back for several days after surgery. DMEK has several advantages and disadvantages. The thinner DMEK tissue is slightly more prone to dislocation, in which case the air bubble will need to be replaced.
Both DSAEK and DMEK offer advantages over standard corneal transplant. The eye surface remains intact and thus more resistant to infection. There are fewer sutures and fewer suture-related problems. Visual recovery is more rapid. DMEK may provide slightly more rapid visual recovery and slightly lower risk of rejection. DMEK is the latest and most sophisticated technique for replacement of damaged endothelial cells. DMEK is not suitable for every type of corneal edema – some situations are better-treated with DSAEK or full-thickness corneal transplant. We will review with you the available options to help select the best procedure for your specific situation.
Discover expert care from a corneal specialist by calling 212-650-0400 or using our convenient Request an Appointment form. Patients come to us from Scarsdale, Chappaqua and Manhattan, New York, Newark, New Jersey, Greenwich, Connecticut and surrounding areas.
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