Purpose: In this retrospective study, the visual outcomes and postoperative complications after Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK) and Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK) in the fellow eye were compared. The patient's satisfaction was evaluated.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of 10 patients, who underwent DSAEK in one eye and DMEK surgery in their fellow eye, was performed. Intraoperative and postoperative complications were recorded. Visual and refractive outcomes were evaluated, including higher-order aberrations (HOA) and contrast thresholds. A subjective questionnaire was used to evaluate patient satisfaction.
Results: Best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was significantly better in DMEK when compared with DSAEK (0.16±0.10 vs 0.45±0.58 logMAR, P=0.043). Contrast threshold was significantly higher after DMEK than after DSAEK (0.49±0.23 vs 0.25±0.18, P=0.043). Post-keratoplasty astigmatism, mean spherical equivalent, and HOA did not differ. Nine out of ten patients preferred the DMEK procedure. Visual outcome (4.80±1.14 vs 4.50±1.58, P=0.257), surgery associated pain and burden (DMEK: 1.30±0.48 vs DSAEK: 1.30±0.48, P=1.0), estimated time for recovery and rehabilitation (27.6±54.0 vs 24.9±54.8 days, P=0.173), and mean patient satisfaction (5.40±0.84 vs 5.00±1.05, P=0.257) were evaluated equally.
Conclusion: Patient satisfaction reached high, equal values after DMEK and after DSAEK. Nevertheless, patients preferred DMEK, if given a choice. Reasons for the preference may include better uncorrected and BCVA, and especially a better contrast sensitivity.