Corneal Transplant

What is a Corneal Transplant

and why do I need one

Dr. John Cooksey is one of the few trained corneal transplant surgeons in North Louisiana. He has performed corneal transplants for over 30 years. He has been trained in a minimally invasive corneal transplant procedure that has a recover time of only a few weeks instead of several months. This procedure is called a DSEK and is indicated for patients with inherited corneal dystrophies.

What is Corneal transplant Surgery?

Corneal transplantation, also known as corneal grafting, is a surgical procedure where a damaged or diseased cornea is replaced by donated corneal tissue in its entirety, a penetrating keratoplasty, or in part, a lamellar keratoplasty. The graft is taken from a recently deceased individual with no known diseases or other factors that may affect the viability of the donated tissue or the health of the recipient.

The cornea is the transparent front part of the eye that covers the iris, pupil and anterior chamber. The surgical procedure is performed by Dr. John Cooksey, an ophthalmologist, or a physician who specializes in eyes, and is often done on an outpatient basis.The corneal transplantation is performed when medicines, keratoconus conservative surgery and cross-linking can not heal the cornea anymore.

What are the most common benefits of this surgery?

The transplanted tissue will enable the patient to regain much of the eyesight that was lost by the condition which damaged the patient's own cornea. The surgery can also eliminate symptoms due to the corneal condition. Because this procedure is performed only after medicines and other treatments have failed, it is the final method of providing relatively normal eyesight to someone having serious vision problems due to damage to their cornea.

What is DSEK Surgery?

DSEK stands for Descemet’s Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty and refers to a thin corneal layer called Descemet’s Membrane, named for an eighteenth century French doctor. This surgery is a corneal transplant or graft of this one layer, rather than of the full corneal thickness, as is done in a standard corneal transplant.

DSEK is a partial-thickness corneal transplant where a thin piece of donor tissue is inserted onto the back surface of the patient’s cornea. This procedure will help patients who have corneas that are beginning to cloud over due to endothelial dysfunction. The endothelium is the layer of pump cells on the back surface of the cornea. These cells pump fluid from the cornea to keep the tissue clear. If the pump cells are not working, the cornea will swell and become cloudy. With DSEK, instead of transplanting the full cornea, only the diseased pump cells are replaced.

Unlike a penetrating keratoplasty (PKP), which is a full-thickness corneal transplant where the donor tissue replaces the central cornea, DSEK uses a much smaller incision creating a smaller wound which is more stable and less likely to open with trauma. DSEK also reduces the risk of sight threatening complications, such as expulsive hemorrhage or post operative traumatic wound rupture, that may occur with the PKP procedure.

At Cooksey Vision & Cosmetic Center in Monroe LA, the first step for a corneal transplant is scheduling an appointment with Dr. John Cooksey to perform a thorough eye exam.

Cooksey Vision and Cosmetic Center provides corneal transplant for patients from greater Monroe, Northern Louisiana and Southern Arkansas and is conveniently located for patients traveling from West Monroe, Bastrop, Winnsboro, Rayville, Gilbert, Columbia, as well as Ruston, Calhoun, Choudrant and Eldorado Arkansas. To schedule an appointment for a corneal transplant please call us in Monroe at (318)388-2020 or in Ruston at (318)255-9686.