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DSAEK Surgery Specialist

Cohen Eye Institute

Cataract, Refractive & LASIK Surgeons and Cornea Specialists located in Midtown East of Manhattan, Ridgewood of Queens, & Elmhurst, NY and Old Bridge, NJ

As a leading ophthalmologist in the New York and New Jersey metropolitan area, Dr. Cohen is one of a select group of specialists with extensive experience in DSAEK surgery, an advanced technique that's revolutionizing corneal transplant procedures. He uses the safest state-of-the-art technology so patients can feel confident they'll achieve optimal results.

DSAEK Surgery Q&A


What is corneal edema?

Edema means swelling, and corneal edema is a condition that occurs when the cornea – the clear dome over the colored portion of your eye – becomes swollen. Corneal edema most commonly occurs in the inner layer of the cornea called the endothelium, and without treatment, it can cause significant and permanent problems with vision.

What is DSAEK?

DSAEK (sometimes called DSEK) stands for Descemet's stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty, a procedure that carefully removes the corneal endothelium and replaces it with a transplanted donor endothelium to restore vision in patients with corneal edema and endothelial damage due to trauma, prior surgery, or as a result of a disease such as Fuchs' dystrophy. During DSAEK, Dr. Cohen is able to replace only the damaged portion of the cornea for better and more precise results. DSAEK is also referred to as a partial thickness corneal transplant because it does not replace the entire cornea.

Is DSAEK better than a traditional corneal transplant?

Yes; the DSAEK procedure is a better choice for most patients because it's less invasive than a full-thickness corneal transplant procedure, and it also replaces only the damaged tissue, enabling patients to retain more of their own, healthy tissue for faster healing and better visual outcomes.

How is DSAEK performed?

Once Dr. Cohen has determined you're a good candidate for DSAEK, the office will locate donor tissue that can be used during the procedure. During the procedure itself, your eye will be numbed and very small incisions will be used to enable Dr. Cohen to remove the damaged endothelial cells and put the graft in place using tiny stitches. The entire procedure typically takes less than 30 minutes to perform.