Corneal Grafting is a surgical procedure in which part or whole of the eye’s diseased cornea (the dome shaped front clear surface of the eye) is removed and replaced with a healthy cornea from a donor.
Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty:
Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK) is a newer advanced type of partial thickness corneal grafting. Here, only the diseased front layers of the cornea are removed, leaving the innermost layer called the endothelium intact. It is this leaving behind of the endothelial layer that gives this technique the distinct edge over the other traditional corneal transplants performed.
How DALK surgery is performed:
DALK Surgery is usually done on an out-patient basis. A local anesthetic is used meaning that you will be awake the whole time. The surgeon separates the anterior (front) layers of the cornea from the endothelium or innermost layer. The diseased layers are removed from the eye, retaining the endothelium. The donor’s cornea is taken and the Descemet’s membrane and endothelial layer are removed. This is now stitched into the patient’s eyes.
Advantages of DALK Surgery:
Lesser post-operative complications
Less chances of rejection of the graft
Reduced risks of infection in the eye