Patients with eye conditions such as Fuchs’ Dystrophy and corneal edema can now benefit from the most advanced corneal surgery in Las Vegas. The cornea is the clear front window of the eye and must be perfectly clear to enable perfect vision. The cornea is amazing! The entire structure is only ½ of a millimeter in thickness, less than 1/50th of an inch. When corneal endothelial cells become damaged through degeneration or previous eye surgeries, the cornea develops swelling (edema) and becomes cloudy. This swelling leads to foggy vision.
DMEK is a partial corneal transplant procedure that removes diseased corneal tissue from the endothelial layer of the cornea. During the surgery, a thin layer of healthy corneal endothelium cells are transplanted for an exact replacement of the diseased corneal tissue. Patients who undergo this microsurgery technique typically experience faster recovery, better vision, and few surgical risks, including transplant rejection.
DMEK Surgery Recovery
With the continued evolution of techniques an even better procedure has now been developed called DMEK (Descemet’s Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty). DMEK is very similar to DSEK, but the tissue transplanted is only 10 microns thick (1/10th of the size of a human hair or 1/100th of a millimeter). This very thin tissue has several benefits including a faster recovery, better chance at achieving 20/20 vision, and a lower chance of rejection.
Dr. DeBry was the first surgeon in Las Vegas to perform DSEK and has treated hundreds of patients over the last 10 years. In 2016 he was again the first surgeon to bring new technology to patients in Las Vegas with the addition of DMEK. If you have a corneal condition requiring surgery, we invite you to meet with Dr. DeBry to see if DMEK or DSEK are the right procedures for you.
DMEK and Advantages over DSEK
- Exact anatomical replacement of the diseased tissue
- Better visual results
- Faster visual recovery
- Lower rejection rate
DMEK Quick Facts
- DMEK = Descemet’s Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty
- DMEK is a partial cornea transplant.
- Descemet’s Membrane is the thin inner lining of the cornea.
- Descemet’s Membrane holds the endothelial cells that are responsible for keeping the cornea clear.
- When corneal endothelial cells get damaged from disease or past surgery, the cornea becomes swollen and cloudy.
- With DMEK, the old and damaged endothelial cells are removed and new healthy cells transplanted.
- The transplant is provided as a generous gift from an eye donor who recently died.
- A gas bubble is put inside the eye to help the new cells stick into position on the cornea.
- The typical recovery is usually 4-6 weeks.
- The transplanted tissue is 1/10th the thickness of a human hair.