Five years ago, Larry of Fair Grove, Mo. was diagnosed with Fuchs’ dystrophy, a deterioration of the inner layer of the cornea. While eyeglasses and eye drops helped, his eyesight continued to decline – to the point he could no longer read and had difficulties performing his job as a handyman.
“My sight interfered with my work,” Larry remarked. “I needed an extreme amount of light. I would have to aim a spotlight right on the project to be able to do anything.”
Larry’s optometrist suggested a full cornea transplant to replace his damaged cornea, but the surgery’s long recovery time concerned this active senior. After researching Fuchs’ dystrophy on the Internet, Larry’s wife discovered that normal transplant surgery involved a full year recovery period which would be quite a hardship. Then she happened upon a website for other individuals with Fuchs’ dystrophy to share their experiences. One woman had shared her transplant experience performed by a doctor in Springfield, Mo. who was trained in the latest cornea transplant procedure developed by a doctor in Indiana. Descemet’s stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK) is a 30-minute surgery where only the inner layer of a donated cornea is replaced, requiring fewer sutures, less pain and a shorter recovery time. Larry had found his solution.
In 2008, after undergoing cataracts surgery, Larry underwent his first DSAEK corneal transplant performed by Dr. Shachar Tauber in Springfield, followed by a second surgery one year later. Said Larry, “My overall sight has come back pretty well. I still need glasses to read, but it’s a great improvement. I’m pretty impressed with my surgeries and my recovery.”
Today, Larry, who recently celebrated his 70th birthday, is back to work as a handyman and spends his free time reading and fishing. “My transplant has made life a lot more enjoyable!”