Purpose: To evaluate patients' perspectives and outcomes of 2 different endothelial keratoplasty (EK) techniques performed in the fellow eyes of the same patients: Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK) and Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK).
Methods: In this fellow eye, comparative, retrospective case series, the records of 15 patients who underwent DSAEK in 1 eye and DMEK in the fellow eye and completed at least 1 year of follow-up after the second procedure were reviewed. Visual outcomes and endothelial cell density were assessed. Patient satisfaction was evaluated using a subjective questionnaire.
Results: At 12 months postoperatively, the mean best spectacle-corrected visual acuity (BSCVA) in the DMEK group was 0.07 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (20/24) and 0.20 logMAR (20/32) in the DSAEK group (P = 0.004). The majority of the patients (85%) perceived better visual quality in the DMEK eye. Furthermore, 62% preferred or would recommend DMEK to a friend or relative, whereas 15% preferred DSAEK and 23% reported no preference between the surgical procedures. The 1-year endothelial cell loss and the perceived discomfort level during the postoperative period were comparable for the 2 procedures.
Conclusions: The majority of the patients preferred or would recommend the DMEK procedure. Faster visual recovery and better final visual acuity were the main benefits of the DMEK technique.