About Corneal Transplants
Whether you have an inherited eye disorder or a trauma has caused damage to your cornea, you will need to seek treatment at some point to restore your vision. At Waite Vision, our board-certified ophthalmologist, Dr. Aaron Waite, is skilled to perform DMEK (Descemet's membrane endothelial keratoplasty) and DSEK (Descemet's stripping endothelial keratoplasty) on patients suffering from damaged or diseased corneas to help restore clearer vision. These surgeries, considered partial thickness transplants, replace the affected or diseased portions of the cornea with donor tissue while keeping the outer layers of the eye intact, allowing for greater visual recovery. Our Lehi, UT facility, Waite Vision, is equipped to perform corneal transplants on-site in our AAAASF accredited surgical facility. To find out which of these procedures is most suited for your condition, we invite you to schedule a consultation at your earliest convenience.
"Dr Waite is THE BEST!!!!! My vision is fantastic and I could not be happier!!!?????? He is so professional, and you can tell he's a perfectionist, he tested and verified again and again until he and I were both satisfied he had the the best plan for me!!! The office staff is warm and friendly, they spoiled me and made me feel so welcome and comfortable!!! The office is immaculate, fantastic, and be-autiful!!!! Oh, and the follow-up is great, I felt, and feel like they really care about me, my experience, and whether I am happy with the results or not! I recommend Waite Vision to anyone and everyone!!!!????"- J.P. / Google / Dec 08, 2018
"If your top priority in choosing where to go for vision correction surgery is quality of care, Dr. Waite unequivocally provides the highest standard of care. Not only is he a top-notch surgeon to whom other surgeons refer, he and his staff are all conscientious, kind, and committed to provided an outstanding personalized patient experience. And if you've been told you're not a candidate, he won't just send you away and call "next" - he'll spend time considering all your options and explaining the factors involved so that you feel your needs matter. I just had my first experience traveling contact lens and glasses free since my refractive lens exchange, and it was so freeing! Why are we all spending so much money and effort fussing with crutches and bandaids when it's so easy to fix the problem? And if you're going to have vision correction surgery, you want the best, this is not something you want to shop for discounts on. Thank you Waite Vision for setting the bar of patient care so high!"- S.K. / Yelp / Dec 07, 2018
"BEST DECISION I’VE EVER MADE! I have been thinking about getting lasik done forever and right when they opened up by me I ran in for a consultation and have never been so excited! I scheduled my appt and threw all my contacts away! I suggest this to anyone who has contacts! It’s life changing and best decision!"- M.A. / Google / Dec 04, 2018
"Working with Dr. Waite and his staff was a wonderful experience start to finish! A highly professional office and a pleasant life changing experience! I am thrilled with my new perfect vision!"- C.J. / Google / Dec 04, 2018
"I did my research for an entire year before choosing Waite Vision. While they make vision correction extremely affordable, they do not provide cheap LASIK here, nor do they offer free consults. Some may not like it, but that was very a reassuring thing to me. Even my mechanic charges for a diagnostic. My advice, if you want to take it, is to do your research. You wouldn't "Groupon" your brain surgery, just like you wouldn't buy that 20% OFF parachute. Don't seek out a freebie and cut corners when it comes to your precious eyes.As for the experience, I felt confident and in control the entire time. The staff played my favorite soundtrack in the background. I've got to say, putting on contacts feels infinitely more invasive to me. I'm serious. I just can't do it. My wife always gives me a hard time because I need to blink and can't seem to relax my eyes. And yet, incredibly enough, Dr. Waite was able to keep me calm and relaxed during the procedure, which by the way, wasn't painful. Full disclosure, you can certainly tell your eyes are being worked on, but aside from feeling like you have a tiny eyelash in your eyes during the procedure, the entire process was fast and painless. In less than 20 minutes, I received the gift of visual freedom. If you could see what I see, you wouldn’t think twice about it, I promise you. I was able to see clearly that very same night, and even walked my dog out for half an hour. I could finally notice the small details on something I would've taken for granted with my glasses before, the leaves on the trees. It was mind-blowing. I'm sitting at 20/15, I have better than normal vision now. I can only describe it as superhero-like vision.I can attest that Dr. Waite is not only a published author and innovator in his industry, but he is also a compassionate, world-class eye surgeon who empathizes with his patients. Many other doctors are simply unable to connect with you at a personal level due to the way they've designed their practice or the number of people they are trying to get through the door. That is not the case with Waite Vision. When they say you'll feel like a VIP, they mean it. The place feels like a luxurious Spa in the setting of a high-touch environment. But at the end of the day, not even the fanciest of settings is complete without a solid team. Dr. Waite and his team are by far the nicest, most professional people you will ever meet as far as vision correction goes. I wholeheartedly recommend Waite Vision to anyone who is entertaining the idea of having better-than-ever vision, not only for LASIK but for the full spectrum of vision correction. I certainly can't wait to bring my Dad in from Ecuador to help him get rid of his readers forever!By the way, this photo was taken just 5 minutes after the procedure!"- F.L. / Google / Nov 29, 2018
The best candidates for DMEK or DSEK corneal transplants are patients who suffer from damage to the cornea either from a traumatic injury or disease. In the later stages of Fuchs' dystrophy, DMEK may be suggested based on what stage it is in. When the constant swelling and fluid buildup in the cornea impact vision to the point of significant loss, corneal transplants can relieve a patient of the eye pressure and improve vision without a full corneal transplant.
During a consultation prior to treatment, Dr. Waite will determine the best method for your corneal transplant. The two procedures are performed slightly differently, as described below.
The DMEK procedure is performed in less than an hour (about 30 minutes) in an outpatient setting. Your Dr. Waite will numb your eye with a local anesthetic before making the first incision to remove the existing endothelial layer from the weakened cornea. Once the endothelial layer is cleared, he will insert the donor cornea (ten microns of the inner layer). The new cornea will be properly positioned with the use of gas (air bubble) until it unfolds. You may or may not need a suture to close the incision as it sometimes seals on its own.
As an outpatient procedure, Dr. Waite will perform your DSEK procedure in about 15 – 20 minutes. You will lie flat on your back as we do our best to make this procedure as comfortable for you as possible. After a local anesthetic (numbing drops) desensitizes the eyes, the damaged or diseased portion of the cornea (about 100 microns of the inner layer) will be eliminated. The incision will be very small, and the donor tissue will be placed on the back of the innermost layer of the cornea. Dr. Waite will use air to push and reposition the donor cornea into place. Once the tissue adheres to your cornea, it should resume normal functionality. The incision will then be closed with 1 – 2 sutures if it does not seal up on its own.
What to Expect
On average, a DMEK patient will obtain 20/25 vision within the first six months after the surgery. Many of our DMEK patients report that they have better vision 1 – 2 months after surgery. While there is always the possibility of donor tissue rejection, recent studies show that DMEK has a 0.7% donor tissue rejection rate. If the first DMEK procedure does not take, the donor tissue will be removed and substituted with a replacement tissue.
After DSEK surgery, you should be able to see better within 2 – 3 months. By the fifth or sixth month, you can expect to have 20/40 vision. The DSEK has a very high success rate with only 9% of donor tissue rejection after the first year. If the donor cornea is rejected, the procedure can be performed again. It is important to keep all follow-up appointments with your eye care provider so that your progress can be documented and monitored to avoid complications after the surgery.
Corneal transplants are often covered by insurance companies. Waite Vision will work directly with your insurance company to determine your benefits and whether you will have any out-of-pocket costs. Any expense that you will be responsible for will be discussed with you prior to the scheduling of your surgery. Our support staff can help you afford your portion of the surgery with financing options. Please contact Waite Vision to learn more.
Repair & Revise Your Sight
If you would like to learn more about your opportunities for correcting your vision with DMEK, DSEK or other corneal transplant procedures, please call our Lehi, UT office. We look forward to meeting you. At Waite Vision, we are continually striving to better the lives of our patients by renewing their sight. We hope to serve you in restoring the vision that you deserve.