About Cornea Transplants
The skilled team at Kirk Eye Center in River Forest and Gurnee, IL performs partial-thickness corneal transplants (DSAEK and DMEK) for patients who have cornea disease or injuries. A corneal transplant involves surgically excising the diseased or damaged portion of the cornea and replacing it with a healthy donor sample. Our expert surgical team utilizes advanced technology to carry out the most successful partial-thickness cornea transplant and produce optimal results.
Descemet's Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK) is a partial-thickness corneal transplant that is performed to remove both the Descemet's membrane and endothelium layers of the cornea. Both parts are then replaced with healthy donor tissue. This surgery uses a thinner layer of donor tissue compared to a full transplant.
Descemet's Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK) is a partial-thickness corneal transplant similar to DSAEK, but it utilizes an even thinner sample of endothelial tissue to improve a patient's vision.
"Great overall experience with my Lasik procedure for both my eyes. Dr. Kirk & the staff were fantastic throughout the entire process. I'm so pumped that I don't have to wear contacts or glasses ever again!"- B.M. / Google / Jun 19, 2020
"I had a great experience. Dr. Carter Kirk and the rest of the team were thorough, professional, and personable"- M.H. / Google / Jun 22, 2020
"I am typically not the type of person who posts a review, but I have been a patient at Kirk Eye Center for the past 25 years and I cannot emphasize enough how amazing this practice is at helping people achieve wonderful vision! The doctors at Kirk Eye Center have guided me towards perfect eyesight from the time I wore glasses, followed by contact lenses for many years, and most recently the Lasik vision corrective surgery. Each doctor is extremely knowledgeable, polite, and caring. The staff at Kirk Eye Center is warm and friendly, and my entire experience has been nothing but positive. I have already insisted to my younger brother that he schedule a Lasik consultation as soon as possible so that he can receive the same magnificent care and results that were provided to me! I would recommend Kirk Eye Center to any person in search of top-notch vision correction as well as fantastic overall service."- M.K. / Google / Jun 11, 2020
"This is the first anniversary of my laser cataract surgery with Kirk Eye Center and I just wanted to say my vision has never been better. I'm 20/20 for distance and only need standard 2.5 power reading glasses for reading. I am very grateful to Drs. Scott and Carter Kirk for the great job they did. Everyone in the office is very courteous and professional and my wife and I will always go to them in the future for all our vision needs."- R.F. / Google / Jun 11, 2020
"Hello, I would like to give praise to Sarah E. For her attention and care for my mom. During this horrible pandemic my mom got a small infection in her eye, and rest assured it’s back to normal days later, due to Sarah and Kirk’s wonderful team. Their follow up and knowledge made the whole process peaceful. Thank you so much!"- C.R. / Yelp / Apr 23, 2020
Who Is a Candidate for Cornea Transplant?
Patients who have been affected by the following symptoms may be candidates for a partial-thickness cornea transplant:
- Deep corneal scarring
- Blurry, foggy, or distorted vision
- Constant fluid buildup within the cornea
A partial-thickness corneal transplant is often done to treat corneal swelling disorders, including Fuchs' dystrophy and Bullous keratopathy. A full exam will be performed at Kirk Eye Center to determine if you are a candidate for this surgery.
Cornea Transplant Technique
Both DSAEK and DMEK are outpatient procedures performed within about 30 minutes. You will be given anesthesia to keep you comfortable throughout the procedure. During DSAEK surgery, a tiny incision will be made at the edge of the cornea. Next, the damaged Descemet's membrane, endothelium, and a small portion of stroma will be removed and replaced with a healthy donor graft. An air or gas bubble will be placed under the donor tissue to hold it in place, and the area will be stitched closed, or else it will heal on its own. DMEK is performed in a similar manner except is slightly less invasive in that it involves a thinner amount of tissue (Descemet's membrane and endothelium, but no stroma).
What to Expect after Cornea Transplant
After your partial-thickness corneal transplant, we will provide detailed post-operative guidelines to ensure proper healing. Following surgery, you should start to notice vision improvements within the first couple of months with full results developing after about six months. Patients who undergo DSAEK typically achieve 20/40 vision while DMEK patients usually attain vision around 20/25. You may be required to attend a series of follow-up appointments at our office to monitor your health. The full recovery phase may take several months, but the team at Kirk Eye Center is here to support you every step of the way.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
Both DSAEK and DMEK are partial-thickness corneal transplants that boast high success rates, improved vision, and low rates of donor tissue rejection. Our team utilizes top-of-the-line technologies and techniques to perform both DSAEK and DMEK. We encourage you to contact our office in River Forest or Gurnee, IL to find out about how we can help you attain clearer vision.