Primary Outcome Measures:
- to determine if small incision Deep Lamellar Endothelial Keratoplasty (DLEK) is able to further reduce the degree of corneal astigmatism and shorten the time course of corneal topography stabilization
Split thickness lamellar corneal transplants have been performed for many years to replace the front part of the cornea and have been highly successful. What is different about this study is that the surgical procedure involves replacement of the back layers of the cornea rather than the front layers of the cornea. This replacement is done through a small pocket incision to avoid changes in the front surface of the cornea. By leaving the front surface in the cornea without sutures or incisions there is felt to be an advantage in healing and recovery time for the patient. In addition, this particular study will use a pocket incision that is even shorter and smaller in length than the one used in previous DLEK surgeries to try to make healing time even faster and more predictable. This procedure has been successfully performed on patients in the Netherlands for over five years. The procedure has also been successfully performed by doctors in the United States. Subjects participating in this study will be among the first patients to undergo this procedure in the The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.