DALK (Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty)

Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK) is a corneal transplant procedure that has been developed over many years. It now utilizes techniques that preserve the patient’s two innermost layers of the cornea – Descemet’s membrane and the endothelium – and uses donor tissue to replace the three outermost layers – the stroma, Bowman’s layer, and the epithelium. There are many advantages to this procedure over other types of corneal transplants. One is that the eye is not fully opened during the surgery, therefore lessening the risk of intra-operative complications. A second benefit is that a portion of the patient’s own cornea is preserved so there is a decreased risk of corneal rejection and less need for lifetime steroid use. A third advantage is that the patient’s Descemet’s membrane remains fully intact adding some extra structural support to the cornea after surgery. This procedure is especially useful in conditions that affect the anterior (front) portion of the cornea such as Lattice, Granular, Avelino, and Macular Corneal Dystrophy and Keratoconus. Our doctors perform DALK and would be happy to discuss the procedure with you if you are indeed a candidate.