DMEK Cornea Transplant: Comparison of Experts and News


What is DMEK?

DMEK is the non-invasive cornea transplant for those suffering from cornea guttata , corneal edema and bullous keratopathy. Top experts meet in Lisbon to discuss the latest innovations. The new technique of corneal transplant without stitches allows you to recover your vision in just a month, unlike the traditional cornea transplant which takes about a year.

Dr. Badalà, pioneer of this new technique in Italy, is organizing a forum in Lisbon with the world’s leading DMEK experts. The purpose of this forum is to discuss the latest in corneal transplantation and facilitate the use of DMEK by a growing group of ophthalmologists.

DMEK is the transplantation of the endothelial cells of the cornea , with this type of transplant DMEK2 - Copy Just 1% of the cornea is replaced with countless advantages compared to other transplant techniques . In traditional cornea transplants, the entire cornea is replaced and it is necessary to wait about a year before complete vision recovery. In DSAEK, the old corneal endothelium transplant technique, approximately 30% of tissue is added to the patient’s cornea with a much longer and sometimes incomplete visual recovery (as shown at the 2016 cornea specialists congress by Dr. Badalà DMEK Congress Copenhagen 2016EuCornea 2016 ).

The experts called to discuss DMEK by Doctor Badalà during the ESCRS (European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery) Congress in Lisbon are:

  • Prof. Harminder Dua, Head of the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Nottingham – UK
  • Prof. Donald Tan, Director of the Singapore National Eye Center – Singapore
  • Prof. Sadeer Hannush, Director of the Delaware Eye Bank and Cornea Specialist, Wills Eye Hospital, Jefferson University, Philadelphia – USA
  • Dr. Alain Saad, Rothschild Foundation – Paris – France
  • Dr. Michael Straiko, Devers Eye Institute, Portland – USA
  • Dr. Federico Badalà, Ocular Micro Surgery, Milan – Italy

In which cases can it be used?

The DMEK cornea transplant today represents the ideal treatment for cornea guttate, corneal edema, failure of a traditional transplant due to exhaustion of the endothelial reserve. However, to be a successful surgery, DMEK requires several essential conditions: expert ophthalmologist surgeon, well-equipped cornea transplant center, well-organized Cornea Bank, patient capable of remaining lying in bed for approximately 48 hours.

In fact , the new endothelial cells transplanted with DMEK are fixed gas bubble in their place thanks to the insertion of a small bubble of medical gas inside the eye. The gas forces new endothelial cells to adhere to the patient’s cornea. As in the level used to hang pictures, there is a gas bubble that moves with the inclination of the level itself. If the patient does not remain lying down, the gas bubble moves and the cells do not adhere perfectly. The common experience of operated patients is that it is a small sacrifice for a great result.

The biggest advantage of DMEK along with the rapid recovery of vision is the reduced rejection rate compared to all other types of corneal transplants. This is linked to the fact that the part of transplanted tissue is very small.

For those interested in participating, the Forum will be held at the FIL – Lisbon International Fair – from 7 to 11 October 2017 on the occasion of the ESCRS (European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery) congress. LISBON 2

The detailed program can be found at:

Dr. Badalà organized the same meeting in 2016 in Copenhagen and in 2015 in Barcelona. For those interested in more information here are the links to the forum on DMEK from previous years: Forum Barcellona 2015 Forum Copenhagen 2016