One of the most recent advances to treat the decreased vision and swollen, cloudy corneas seen in Fuchs’ Dystrophy is a technique called Descemet Stripping Only (DSO), also referred to as Descemetorhexis Without Endothelial Keratoplasty (DWEK). This innovative procedure strips away the damaged membrane in a small 4mm circular area on the back of the cornea. Then, instead of implanting donor cornea tissue, the person’s own endothelial cells redistribute across the treated area to restore the normal functioning of the cornea.
One of the most exciting aspects of this new technique is that it eliminates the potential for vision-threatening rejection episodes that can occur after a cornea transplant. The procedure is most suited for patients where the progression of the disease is primarily in the central portion of the cornea.
Price Vision Group has been a leader in advancing this new technique and has participated in several clinical studies to investigate whether different drugs may accelerate recovery and resumption of normal activities.
Surgery is performed in an outpatient surgery center located conveniently in our building, meaning there are no new locations to find and patients do not need to enter or be admitted to a hospital. Anesthesia is given intravenously and with eye drops (topical anesthesia). The full extent of the procedure is the careful removal of the diseased, innermost layer from the central area. This can be combined with cataract surgery for patients who require both.
Compared with implanting a thin layer of donor tissue, the visual recovery may be somewhat slower with the DSO/DWEK procedure, due to the time it takes for the person’s own cells to repopulate the surgical area; however, an advantage is that because no donor tissue is transplanted, there is no need for long term use of immune-suppressing steroid eye drops to mitigate the risk of transplant rejection.
DSO/DWEK is the most recent development in the treatment of Fuchs endothelial dystrophy. This surgical technique allows the existing cells in the eye to repopulate the central area of the cornea instead of implanting donor tissue to help restore clear vision.
DSO/DWEK avoids the need for implantation of donor tissue and the associated concerns about donor tissue attachment and transplant rejection. Price Vision Group is a leader in the development of this technique.”
Price Vision Group is an investigational site for a clinical trial that will evaluate the use of an investigational growth factor in conjunction with a DSO procedure. If you are a candidate for the DSO procedure and would be interested in learning more about this clinical study, please provide your information and we will be in contact with additional details.