Combined Cataract/DSEK/DMEK: Changing Expectations

Asia Pac J Ophthalmol (Phila). Jul-Aug 2017;6(4):388-392. doi: 10.22608/APO.2017127. Epub 2017 Jun 20.


Endothelial keratoplasty (EK) has revolutionized corneal transplant surgery by providing rapid visual recovery and improved visual outcomes. In parts of the world with Fuchs endothelial dystrophy, many patients may present with both cataracts and corneal degeneration requiring surgery. Other forms of endothelial decompensation may also present with cataracts. The staging or combination of transplant surgery and cataract surgery depend on both the abilities of the surgeon and the surgical techniques being considered. We currently use phacoemulsification to remove cataracts and routinely perform both cataract surgery and EK with topical anesthesia. The decision to perform either combined or staged cataract and transplant surgery depends upon the examination of the eye including assessment of the anterior chamber depth and the status of the anterior surface of the cornea, which affects the ability to reliably assess keratometry. Additional considerations include the type of lens implant to use, the desired refractive outcome, and the patient's preference about whether to undergo 1 or 2 surgical procedures per eye.

Keywords: DMEK; DSEK; Fuchs dystrophy; cataract; endothelial keratoplasty.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cataract / complications*
  • Corneal Transplantation / methods*
  • Fuchs' Endothelial Dystrophy / complications*
  • Fuchs' Endothelial Dystrophy / surgery
  • Humans
  • Phacoemulsification / methods*
  • Visual Acuity*