Anterior Lamellar Corneal Transplant or DALK

The latest news in corneal transplant for keratoconus is the anterior lamellar corneal transplant (DALK). This transplant consists in replacing the anterior portion of the corneal tissue (stroma). It is suggested in case of:

  • keratoconus (for cornea that have no damages in the Descernet membrane)
  • superficial corneal scars, caused by traumas or infections.

This transplant can be done with several techniques.
The most innovative technique is the big bubble DALK, where corneal layers are separated: this process requires high skills and expertise. Other techniques use a microkeratome, a excimer or a femtoseconds laser. All these processes have the same goal, that is removing the stroma till the endothelium in order to create an interface where it is possible to suture the transplanted portion. The surface should be uniform to guarantee a better vision quality after surgery.

The advantage of the lamellar corneal transplant (DALK) is that it has a lower rejection rate if compared to traditional transplant; this is because the transplanted portion is smaller.

Corneal tissue coming from the donor is sutured with the same techniques used in the full-depth corneal transplant.
Another great advantage is that suture removal can be done before, assuring a faster vision recovering compared to traditional corneal transplant. This is crucial for patients with keratoconus where anterior lamellar corneal transplant is performed, because they are young and active.

Dr. Badalà performs anterior lamellar corneal transplant with the DALK technique to cure keratoconus in Milan and Catania and holds courses on this innovative transplant process during the most important international conventions.


Dan Boca, Romania (Cluj-Napoca)

Votazione: Eccellente
Problem: Keratoconus
I recently (about two weeks ago) underwent corneal transplant surgery for my right eye which has been affected by keratoconus for over 10 years. I have chosen to have this intervention done abroad and I reached Dr. Badal... Keep on reading this reviewa.

I was calm a few days before the surgery, but when the day came I got quite nervous, but I lost this feeling once the procedure began under local anesthesia. I couldn't see or feel anything during surgery, which was my initial concern. I did feel some pain during the first night after the anesthetic started to wear off, but the next days I only felt a minor discomfort.

My vision was extremely poor before the transplant, I could barely count my fingers and did not see any letters on the vision chart.

The same day of surgery I could already see much better.  Just one week after surgery my vision without glasses improved to 4/10.

I can say that Dr. Badala and his staff were very polite, patient, helpful and have a professional attitude. I am grateful for everything they have done! For me there was really  nothing unsatisfying during this whole experience.

I wouldn’t have second thoughts to contact Dr. Badala in case of any other eye problem or intervention I would need.
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