Secondary “Thin-DSEK” After Long-term Graft Failure in DLEK: A Double Transplanted Cornea

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Purpose:To describe a case of secondary “thin Descemet stripping endothelial keratoplasty” (“Thin-DSEK”), for borderline decompensation 6 years after an initial deep lamellar endothelial keratoplasty (DLEK).Methods:In a 31-year-old man, who initially underwent a DLEK for bullous keratopathy in the presence of a phakic intraocular lens, a secondary Thin-DSEK was performed, while leaving the entire DLEK graft (including the donor Descemet membrane and the endothelium) in situ.Results:After the initial DLEK, the best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) improved from 20/200 (0.1) to 20/25 (0.8). Six years later, the transplanted cornea showed intermittent decompensation with a decrease in BCVA again to 20/200 (0.1). After the secondary Thin-DSEK, the BCVA improved again to 20/25 (0.8) at 1 month postoperatively and remained stable thereafter.Conclusions:Our case may show that a secondary DSEK may be a simple and effective treatment to manage secondary graft failure after DLEK. Despite the presence of a “double” stromal interface in the visual axis, secondary Thin-DSEK may provide visual rehabilitation similar to that after primary Thin-DSEK.

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