Peripheral Blunt Dissection: Using a Microhoe-Facilitated Method for Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty Donor Tissue Preparation

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To describe a modified technique for Descemet membrane donor tissue preparation that facilitates the original Melles stripping technique.


Descemet membrane is prepared using a Rootman/Goldich modified Sloane microhoe, using a blunt instrument as opposed to a sharp blade or needle and begins dissection within the trabecular meshwork. The trabecular tissue is dissected for 360 degrees, and then Descemet membrane is stripped to approximately 50%. A skin biopsy punch is then used to create fenestration in the cornea, which is used to mark an “F.” on the stromal side of Descemet membrane to aid in orientation of the graft. Trephination of the membrane is then performed and stripping is completed. The tissue is stained with 0.06% trypan blue and aspirated into an injector for insertion into the anterior chamber.


Before converting to the technique described, 5 of 75 (6.7%) tissues were wasted and 7 of 75 (9.3%) tissues with radial tears were salvaged for use. Since converting to the new technique, only 1 of 171 (0.6%) (P = 0.01) tissues was wasted and 7 of 171 (4.1%) (P = 0.2) tissues with radial tears were salvaged.


The peripheral blunt dissection technique offers an improvement over the technique originally described by Melles et al, as the incidence of tissue wastage and tears is lower, it is easy to learn, has low stress, and is reproducible. Combining this with a stromal surface letter mark ensures correct orientation of the tissue against the corneal stroma of the recipient.

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