WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Across the world, Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK) is becoming the standard of care for endothelial dysfunction. Miracles In Sight (MIS), a nonprofit eye bank that recovers, processes and distributes ocular tissue, is helping reduce the learning curve for this new surgical technique by offering traditional, pre-loaded and free-floating DMEK grafts.
“Corneal surgeons are increasingly finding DMEK to be the best option for their patients, however, the possibility of tearing the thin, delicate tissue can be stressful for surgeons preparing donor tissue themselves,” said MIS Director of Research and Development Isaac Perry. “The pre-loaded and free-floating DMEK grafts from MIS eliminates this step.”
The DMEK surgical procedure involves transplanting donor Descemet membrane and endothelial cells into a recipient with a damaged or diseased corneal endothelium. The surgery takes less than 30 minutes and has demonstrated the ability to restore sight in legally blind patients. Surgeon partners collaborating with MIS for nearly a year have experienced positive outcomes using pre-loaded and free-floating DMEK tissue, reporting that it saves time in the operating room.
“I have been performing DMEK for several years and one of the more challenging steps in this procedure is donor tissue preparation,” said Terry Semchyshyn, M.D., director of the Duke Eye Center for Vision and Correction in Winston-Salem, N.C. “The tissue handled as well as it did with my own surgeon-cut tissue, and I am pleased I made the switch. I encourage any surgeon currently performing DMEK to consider trying pre-loaded tissue.”
MIS offers customizations for DMEK tissue to meet a surgeon’s requirements. DMEK tissue can be pre-punched to specific diameters, marked with “S” stamps to aid in graft orientation or pre-loaded into a modified Jones Tube for injection.
“Pre-loaded DMEK from Miracles In Sight saves me 10 minutes per case and relieves the stress of tearing tissue during preparation,” says David Tremblay, M.D., of the Mann Eye Institute in Austin, Texas. “The tissue is pre-stained and marked with an ‘S’ stamp and simply needs to be attached to a syringe and injected into the eye. The experienced technicians at MIS are highly skilled with DMEK preparation. I couldn’t imagine going back to preparing tissue myself.”
MIS strives to be at the forefront of ophthalmological care and continually seeks new and innovative techniques to fight corneal blindness as they are developed and perfected.
“We want to help expand the use of this innovative surgical technique,” added Perry. “Prepared DMEK grafts simplify the procedure and offering this service is a logical extension of our organization’s mission to aid surgeons in restoring sight.”
Miracles In Sight (formerly the North Carolina Eye Bank), based in Winston-Salem, N.C., USA is one of the largest eye banks in the world. The mission of Miracles In Sight is to support the restoration, preservation, and enhancement of sight through transplant, research, education and innovation. A significant part of this mission is stewardship focused on training and educating the medical community and supporting partners and organizations around the world. For more information, visit www.miraclesinsight.org.