The cornea is the eye’s outermost layer. It is the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye. The cornea’s function is twofold: it provides a clear window for the eye and it constitutes the major portion of the eye’s focusing power.
A damaged or diseased cornea may require surgery. A cornea transplant is a surgical procedure that replaces a full thickness portion of the cornea with donor cornea tissue. A cornea transplant (called penetrating keratoplasty) can restore vision, reduce pain and improve the appearance of a damaged or diseased cornea.
For some patients who require corneal transplantation, only the endothelial, or inner lining of the cornea, needs to be replaced—not the entire cornea. In these cases, the corneal specialists at the Eye Surgery Center at Weiss use Descemet's Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK). DSEK allows for a faster operation time, smaller and more stable wound with less sutures needed, and a recovery time of only about three to four months (versus 12-14 months with traditional surgery), with minimal induced astigmatism.
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Dr. Michael Saidel is a board-certified ophthalmologist performing corneal transplants at Vanguard Weiss Memorial Hospital. View Dr. Saidel's profile.
Photo: © 2011 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.