Some patients need an ophthalmologist who is both a Fuchs’ specialist and cataract specialist in Houston. If you have cataracts and corneal swelling (edema) from Fuchs’ corneal dystrophy your vision might look like this:
Even for the best of cataract surgeons, when cataract surgery is performed, some corneal swelling can result. If you are a patient that has a genetically deficient cornea from Fuchs’ dystrophy, the stress of cataract surgery can push the cornea over the edge causing blurred vision that can be worse than the vision prior to the cataract surgery. When it is recognized that the cornea is susceptible prior to cataract surgery, there are some options.
If the Fuchs’ dystrophy is very mild, it may not be necessary for the patient to have any surgery for the corneal swelling. Cataract surgery can proceed as normal and although the vision may be mildly limited by corneal swelling after surgery, a corneal transplant may not be needed.
If the Fuchs’ Dystrophy is moderate or severe, then usually it is recommended that the cataract surgery (phacoemulsification) and corneal transplant (DSAEK) be performed at the same time.
If the Fuchs’ Dsytrophy has lead to significant corneal swelling such that the view to the cataract is very poor, then it is recommended that the corneal transplant (DSAEK) be performed first. Approximately 3 months later, once the DSAEK is healed, then cataract surgery can be performed in a second operation.
Visit these links to get more information about cataract surgery and corneal transplants (including DSAEK):
Information on cataract surgery
Information on Fuchs’ dystrophy and DSAEK