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Corneal Transplantation/DSAEK/DMEK/DALK



 Corneal Transplantation

Corneal transplant surgery involves the removal of a patient’s diseased or damaged cornea and replacing it with a healthy donor cornea.  The cornea is the clear element at the front of the human eye, which focuses incoming light so that images are clearly seen.   When the cornea becomes misshapen, cloudy, scarred or otherwise damaged, there are a variety of treatments available. All of our ophthalmologists are Fellowship-trained Corneal Specialists and experts in all types of corneal transplantation.  

Reasons for considering a corneal transplant: 

  • Complications from other eye surgery resulting in chronic edema (swelling) of the cornea.
  • Dystrophy of the cornea (a degenerative condition that can occur with age such as Fuch's Corneal Dystrophy)
  • Eye trauma resulting in corneal scarring.
  • Hereditary diseases of the cornea 
  • Keratoconus, a disease in which the cornea degenerates into a steep cone shape.
  • Rejection of a previous corneal transplant.
  • Various corneal infections that lead to scarring, including herpes viruses.

We invariable exhaust other, non-invasive forms of treatments of corneal diseases first.  However, if more conservative measures are ineffective, corneal transplant surgery may be a viable solution.

The Procedures:

Corneal Transplantation (Penetrating Keratoplasty)

Once the decision is made to undergo corneal transplant surgery, a suitable donor cornea will be obtained from the Alabama Eye Bank.  Each potential donor is carefully screened, both for diseases that could be transmitted and for clarity.  The surgery is an outpatient procedure that takes approximately one hour.  Patients are heavily sedated and kept comfortable.  A trephine (circular) blade is used to remove the central portion of the diseased cornea.  A similar portion of tissue is cut from the donor cornea and is sutured in place.  A patch is placed over the eye.

Descemet's Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK), Descemet's Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK) and Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK)


We offer the newer, more site-specific types of corneal transplantation that, instead of replacing the entire cornea, we replace only the abnormal layer.  As you might imagine. these procedures are more successful in restoring vision and are easier to recover from. The most common type is DSAEK or DMEK where the back layer of the cornea (Descemet's/Endothelial complex) is replaced.  This innovative technology has helped thousands of patients suffering from Fuch's Corneal Dystrophy lead normal lives again.  DALK is an innovative procedure to treat Keratoconus or scarring in the front portion of the cornea. 

We offer other treatments for Keratoconus including INTACS and Cross-linking.

If you have questions or would like to meet with our doctors, we encourage you to contact us today to schedule a consultation by calling 888-841-EYES.

Contact Us

Contact us with any questions for your upcoming vision or hearing appointment, surgery or if you have general questions about our services. Please call 888-841-EYES (3537)


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Office Locations

  • Birmingham
  • 3928 Montclair Road
  • Suite 100
  • Birmingham , AL
  • 35213
  • Map & Directions
  • Call: 888-841-EYES
  • Hoover
  • 7191 Cahaba Valley Road
  • Suite 203
  • Hoover, AL
  • 35242
  • Map & Directions
  • Call: (205) 991-2021
  • Alabaster
  • 613 1st Street North
  • Alabaster, AL
  • 35007
  • Map & Directions
  • Call: (205) 620-2292