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DMEK (Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty)

Descemets’ Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK)

Descemets Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK) is the newest surgical procedure in the Cornea-Sparing family of transplants. As with DSEK, only the damaged cell layer is replaced. What is different is that with DMEK, the donor tissue used is only one cell layer in thickness. The goal of the thinner donor tissue is to provide even better vision post-operatively.

Advantages of DMEK as compared to PKP are:

  • The eye is left much stronger and more resistant to injury.
  • There is minimal change in refractive error because the patient's cornea is essentially intact.
  • Suture-related problems can be eliminated Visual recovery is significantly faster and better.
  • Posterior lamellar grafting with Descemet's stripping offers patients better visual recovery and a less protracted clinical course than standard PKP.
  • It is a great alternative for younger, more active patients bothered by glare and blurring from guttata or for the elderly who dread the long and involved postoperative course of standard PKP.

*As with any surgical procedure there are risks along with benefits. It is important to discuss your surgical procedure with your surgeon to fully understand the risks and benefits.