From the USA arrived the new corneal non-invasive transplant, it is a huge innovation in cornea’s pathologies’ cure because it has a very short recovery time and it seems to remove risks linked with corneal transplant.
The new treatment, called DMEK (Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty), is indicated for corneal edema cases, Fuchs’ dystrophy and cornea guttata. This pathologies are very common in Italy and present a familiar condition: they show up when patients are around 40years of age and year after year the pathology’s gravity increases damaging the cornea even more. Ten years ago, cornea was totally transplanted, then only the 30-40% (with DSAEK), now, with this new and more advanced technique, only 1% of the cornea is transplanted. The result is that the patient is able to see after only two week and rejection’s risks are drastically reduced.
In Italy interventions with this pioneristic technique are very few. Dr. Badalà learned this method in USA and was the first to use it in Milan on 2013. “the DMEK is a futuristic corneal transplant technique because it makes it possible to transplant only damaged corneal cells while the rest of the eye remains totally intact- explains the surgeon colleague- we talk about a tissue that is between 5 and 10 micron, 100 times less than a millimeter. However this is a complex surgery that asks for advanced instruments, a strong web of selected professionals and a great support by the eye banks”.
The great advantage- continues Badalà- compared to the other corneal transplant techniques is a very quick visual recovery: usually the patient recover normal vision in 15 days.
The transplanted tissue’s rejection, because of the very little dimension of the donator tissue, is basically absent and this makes it possible to minimize the anti-rejection therapy with cortisone based drugs which has several collateral effects.