Two "thin" cornea transplants were recently performed for the first time at the Ichilov Medical Center in Tel Aviv. Sometime, such operations are the only way to restore vision to blind eyes. The DMEK procedure takes the back layer of the cornea 10-to-20 thousandths of a millimeter thick, as opposed to the DSAEK procedure, first performed in Israel in 2006, where the back layer of the cornea is 100-150 thousandths of an inch thick.
Doctor David Versano said the new procedure is different in that it does not require stitches to keep the implant in the right place, giving the eye more stability and less exposure to dangers. Because the implant is so thin, the shape of the cornea remains similar to the way it was before the surgery and a patient's glasses don't have to change much. An important advantage is the small amount of tissue which is exchanged, resulting in a smaller chance of rejection and a bigger chance that the implant will function well over the years.