Certain diseases can affect the health of the cornea of the eye. While many of these corneal diseases can be treated medically, there are some that can only be treated with surgery. The surgical options available today for corneal diseases have evolved dramatically as targeted therapy has improved outcomes and reduced healing time.
Penetrating keratoplasty (PK), or full-thickness corneal transplantation, had been the mainstay of surgical corneal treatment. While the concept dates back to Ancient Greece, modern day PK involves removal of a full-thickness portion of the cornea and replacement with donor tissue. While many corneal diseases can now be treated through other surgical means, it is still indicated for certain eye conditions.
Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty
Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty, or DALK, involves replacement of the anterior 90% of the cornea with preservation of the endothelial cells posteriorly. This surgical technique can be beneficial in cases of corneal scars or keratoconus requiring surgery.
Descemet Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty
Descemet Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty, or DSAEK, has been a revolutionary development in surgical treatment of corneal endothelial disease. This surgery involves preservation of the outer 90% of the cornea in order to hasten recovery and optimize refractive outcome of the surgery.
Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty
Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty, or DMEK, is the latest evolution of endothelial keratoplasty that targets replacement of diseased endothelial cells. The goal of DMEK is similar to that of DSAEK, but aims to optimize even more of the refractive outcomes of an already successful surgery.