Descemet’s Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK)

LASIK surgeon Sandra Belmont, MD, FACS, is also a gifted corneal surgeon. In fact, she is fellowship-trained in corneal surgery and currently heads a highly prestigious corneal fellowship program of her own, through which she has trained 17 fellows, to date. A recognized authority in corneal and refractive surgery, Dr. Belmont treats patients suffering from a wide variety of corneal diseases. She can do the same for you.

If You Suspect You Might Have Corneal Disease

Some forms of corneal disease present only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all while others can be painful and greatly impair vision. If you suspect that you might have corneal disease, you should schedule an appointment with Dr. Belmont, so she can properly diagnose your condition and identify which type of corneal disease you have. Based on the type of corneal disease that you have and how far it has progressed, she will recommend a suitable treatment plan to meet your unique needs.

Treating Corneal Disease

Some early-stage corneal diseases do not require immediate treatment and only call for Dr. Belmont to monitor the condition. Others may require noninvasive treatment options. For instance, the NYC corneal surgeon can usually treat early-stage keratoconus with contact lenses, and she may be able to treat pterygium, or surfer’s eye, with eye drops (and by recommending that the patient wear sunglasses.

However, other types of corneal diseases, such as Fuchs’ dystrophy, and those in their advanced stages, such as keratoconus, may require corneal transplant surgery, or keratoplasty.

Descemet’s Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK)

One approach to corneal transplantation is called Descemet’s stripping endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK).

DSEK refers to a thin layer of the cornea known as Descemet’s Membrane, named after a French doctor who lived during the 18th century. Descemet’s Membrane encases the cornea’s endothelial cells, which are integral in pumping excess fluid out of the cornea as needed. If the endothelial cells cannot properly pump out the extra fluid, the fluid starts to accumulate and causes corneal swelling and cloudy eyesight.

Dr. Belmont typically recommends DSEK for individuals with corneal swelling, or keratitis, caused by damaged or abnormal endothelial cells in the cornea. Fuchs’ dystrophy is one possible cause of keratitis, but a variety of conditions can cause corneal swelling.

During the DSEK procedure, Dr. Belmont simply transplants one layer, the Descemet’s Membrane, instead of the entire corneal thickness. DSEK provides patients with clear eyesight after surgery and a faster recovery period than alternative treatment options.

Is DSEK Appropriate for You?

The only way to find out if DSEK is an appropriate treatment option for your type and stage of corneal disease is to visit Belmont Eye Center. Using specialized diagnostic equipment, Dr. Belmont can examine your eyes, determine if you have corneal disease, establish what type of corneal disease you have and suggest a suitable treatment option, which may involve DSEK.