Corneal Transplant

Cornea transplant surgery has been performed for more than fifty years, however the operation has undergone significant advancements in the last decade. The improved procedure, termed Descemet’s stripping endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK), boasts shortened surgical time, faster recovery, decreased complications, and better post-operative vision compared to traditional corneal transplantation. Dr. Dahlgren has carried out this modernized cornea transplant operation since 2005 and performed the very first in Walworth County at Lakeland Memorial Hospital in August 2010.

This DSEK surgical procedure takes only about 40 minutes. A small amount of sedation and drops are required for anesthesia, and there is no pain. During the surgery, micro-incisions are created on the eye through which the dysfunctional cornea cell layer is removed. A healthy donor cornea cell layer is then cut and inserted into the patient’s eye through the very same incision. The new donor cells start to work immediately and vision clears in about 6 weeks. Older corneal transplant procedures required multiple sutures, significant time off work, and almost 12 months to stabilize vision, so DSEK is the preferred method today!

Dr. Dahlgren also specializes in many other complex and progressive surgeries including pterygium, stem-cell transplants, keratoconus, scarring conditions, and infections. Patients near our Elkhorn and Burlington offices no longer need to travel to large metropolitan eye care facilities for corneal disease. If cornea surgery is required, Dr. Dahlgren, a fellowship trained corneal specialist, is able to perform all modern treatment and surgery locally. New patients and consultations are welcome.