Corneal Transplantation: DMEK for Fuchs dystrophy
Fuchs’ Dystrophy is a condition of the Corneal Endothelium. It is an inherited condition that becomes apparent between the ages of 40 and 60. Common symptoms are blurring of vision and halos around lights, particularly after waking from sleep. This is caused by the water-logging of the cornea as the function of the endothelial cells reduce.
Currently, the best treatment for symptomatic Fuchs Corneal Endothelial Dystrophy is a single cell layer Corneal Transplant, called DMEK (Descemet’s Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty). This corneal implant service provides a like-for-like replacement of the damaged cells.
DMEK for Fuchs’ dystrophy has a number of advantages over older techniques, such as;
- Faster and more complete visual recovery
- Lower risk of rejection
- A reduction in potency and frequency of steroid medication.
A single layer of cells, 10um thick is implanted on the inside surface of your Cornea through a keyhole technique that does not require sutures.
After returning from my fellowship training in Rotterdam with the originator of the technique, Dr Melles, I have pioneered this technique. I was the first person to carry out this procedure in the North of England back in 2013. Since then, I have led the way to using this technique for more challenging cases. I have been invited to speak about it at professional meetings and teaching courses.