Department of Ophthalmology Hosts Cornea Transplant Training

Department of Ophthalmology Hosts Cornea Transplant Training

On July 27, 2013, Chicago-area ophthalmologists gathered at Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine to participate in a hands-on training session for a new cornea-transplant technique called DMEK, which provides significantly improved vision and faster recovery from surgery than standard cornea transplants. Ophthalmologists from across the region practiced the technique on cadaver eyes donated by the Illinois Eye Bank. It was the first Chicago-area DMEK demonstration of its kind.
Cornea Transplant Training.

In DMEK, which stands for Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty, only the ultra-thin, innermost corneal layer (the Descemet membrane) is replaced, rather than the entire thickness of the cornea. This reduces the chance of a patient rejecting the donor cornea tissue because there is much less foreign donor material implanted into the patient. The procedure is indicated for patients who have problems only with the back layer of the cornea.

With the current standard of care for replacing the back layer of the cornea, patients are typically restored to a best-corrected vision of 20/30 or 20/40. With DMEK, patients can typically obtain a vision of 20/20 or 20/25. The demonstration was held in Loyola’s Advanced Procedure Education Center (APEC), part of the Center for Simulation Education at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.
Charles Bouchard, MD Amy Lin, MD

The DMEK instruction course is an example of how ophthalmologists from Loyola and other Chicago-area centers may collaborate on educational, research and other projects that will improve patient care, said Charles Bouchard, MD, chair of Loyola’s Department of Ophthalmology. For information, contact Dr. Bouchard or Dr. Amy Lin.

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