Phone: (320) 235-2020 \ (800) 404-4393

Fischer Laser Eye Center

Cornea Surgery

Fischer Laser Eye Center is home to the only fellowship trained cornea surgeon in the region, Dr. Jeffrey Fischer.

Surgery to treat Keratoconus

  • Cornea transplant
    In a cornea transplant (also called a corneal graft or penetrating keratoplasty), a damaged or diseased cornea is replaced by donated corneal tissue that has recently been removed from a deceased person with no known diseases that might affect the viability of the donated tissue.
  • Intacs
    The Intacs procedure is performed to stabilize the cornea, improve vision, and potentially eliminate the need for a cornea transplant. Intacs inserts remodel and reinforce the cornea, to improve vision by eliminating some or all of the irregularities caused by keratoconus.

Anesthetic drops are used to numb the eye, then a single small incision is made is made in the surface of the cornea. A centering guide is placed on the surface of the eye and the surgeon gently separates the inner layers of the cornea to allow for insertion of Intacs. After insertion, the small opening in the cornea is closed.

Fuchs' Dystrophy

What is Fuchs’ Dystrophy?

Fuchs' dystrophy is a relatively common corneal dystrophy.

The cornea has three layers. The bulk of the cornea is called the stroma. The outer surface of the stroma is covered by the epithelium layer, which is several cells thick. A layer of endothelium lines the inner surface of the cornea.

The endothelium of the cornea is the primary area of pathology in Fuchs' corneal dystrophy. When the endothelium is unhealthy, the cells die, do not regenerate and they leave dots called “guttata” on the inside of the cornea. Guttata are often the first sign of Fuchs' dystrophy. Guttata cause glare and reduce quality of the vision.

In late stages of Fuchs' dystrophy, the corneal endothelial cells lose their ability to perform their primary duty, which is pumping fluid from the stroma. The stroma then accumulates fluid, causing corneal stromal edema, which makes the cornea become thicker. It also becomes more hazy, like a steamy window, and can cause a significant decrease in vision.

How is Fuchs’ Dystrophy treated?

When corneal stromal edema develops in the early stages of Fuch’s Dystrophy, medications can be used to improve vision. If this does not work, then cornea transplantation procedures are sometimes necessary to restore vision.

In the past a penetrating keratoplasty was performed. This procedure involved a full thickness transplantation with a prolonged recovery lasting often over 1 year. Dr. Fischer is offering the latest corneal transplantation procedures in which only the diseased layer of the cornea is removed and replaced with a transplant. This technique is call endothelial keratoplasty or “DSEK”. By replacing only the specifically diseased layer, patients can have a more rapid and safer recovery.

Surgery to remove Pterygium

Dr. Fischer also performs surgery to remove pterygium that has invaded the central cornea.

Cornea Transplant: Overview

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DSEK: Overview

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Fuchs’ Dystrophy: Overview

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