Cornea FAQs

Cornea Conditions

Cornea Procedures

Do I qualify for a cornea transplant?

Patients with a damaged cornea that prevents acceptable vision are candidates for corneal transplantation. This procedure allows patients to receive clear vision through either a full or partial replacement of the cornea with a donor cornea.


What is Fuchs’ Dystrophy?

Fuchs’ dystrophy is an inheritable disease that affects the cornea, the clear front area of the eye. The disease causes the cornea to swell because the inner layer of the cornea, the endothelium, begins to diminish. Endothelial cells regulate the correct amount of fluid in the eye by pumping out fluid. When fewer of these cells line the eye’s inside surface, fluid begins to build up in the cornea. As the cornea swells with the extra fluid, the patient’s vision worsens. As the disease worsens, the cornea can develop blisters on the cornea, a condition called bullous keratopathy


What is DMEK?

Nationally, DMEK is a common method for partial-thickness corneal transplants. Patients with severely damaged corneas because of an endothelial disorder such as Fuchs’ dystrophy can experience improved vision through DMEK. Rather than replacing the full cornea with a donor cornea, DMEK replaces only the interior layer of the cornea, called the endothelium. With DMEK, patients are less likely to reject the donor tissue than with the thicker DSEK, and the visual clarity after surgery can be better.


What is DSEK?

DSEK is similar to DMEK, and it is a partial-thickness corneal transplant that uses a much thinner donor tissue than a complete transplant. DSEK replaces the damaged endothelial layer, creating a healthy endothelial layer of the cornea. Some surgeons use donor tissues that are already prepared so the tissue is ready for implantation.


What is collagen cross-linking?

Corneal collagen cross-linking is a method of treatment for ectasia, a devastating disease characterized by an irregularly-shaped cornea, or eye surface. People who suffer from ectasia experience a bulging and protrusion of their cornea in a cone-like shape.


What is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus is an eye condition where the cornea becomes thin and bulges forward.