WK Bossier Health Center First in Bossier City to Offer DMEK Corneal Transplant Procedure

Oct 23, 2019

WK Bossier Health Center is the first in Bossier City to offer a unique eye surgery procedure that helps patients with corneal damage caused by a rare hereditary disorder. The procedure was performed by ophthalmologist Thomas A. Planchard, MD, of the Planchard Eye and Laser Center.

Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK) is an advanced partial corneal transplant procedure to replace a patient’s Descemet membrane and endothelium with donor Descemet membrane and endothelium that is disease free.  Ideal candidates for the DMEK procedure are patients experiencing Fuchs’ corneal dystrophy and corneal swelling, which can lead to cloudy vision and even permanent loss of vision.

During the DMEK procedure, the diseased innermost layer of the cornea is removed and the corresponding thin layer from a healthy donor cornea is put in its place. The transplant is held in place by only an air bubble, requiring patients to lie flat on their backs with their faces directed upwards immediately after surgery to float the bubble in place. The bubble goes away within the first week.

“DMEK allows for a much faster recovery time and greater visual potential, sometimes as good as 20/20,” Dr. Planchard says.

DMEK procedures performed by Dr. Planchard utilize SF6 (sulphur hexafluoride), a new gas that greatly improves the surgery recovery patient experience and results in fewer graft detachments.