Dr. Ketcherside prepares tissue for transplant during the first Descemet’s membrane endothelial keratoplasty performed with preloaded tissue in the Midwest.

Kansas City, Mo. (May 3, 2017) – An innovative approach to transplanting Descemet’s membrane proves to offer efficiencies, making DMEK procedures simpler and more accessible for cornea surgeons. Preloaded DMEK graft tissue, now available from Kansas City-based eye bank, Saving Sight, is expected to open doors for many more surgeons to perform this type of transplant regionally and across the U.S.

In April, Christopher Ketcherside, MD, of the Kansas City Eye Clinic, performed his first preloaded DMEK graft surgery – a first of its kind in the Midwest.

“It’s always appealing to do things in a more efficient fashion,” said Dr. Ketcherside. “I think that any time we can try to perform steps like this in the eye bank, we’ve learned that it’s probably a good thing.  If there are going to be errors with peeling or loading the tissue during that part of the procedure, those issues can be eliminated from the operating room.”

Preloaded DMEK grafts provided by the eye bank can potentially reduce barriers to entry for surgeons considering this advanced transplantation technique. The tissue comes prepared, preloaded, and shipped in a modified Jones tube. This innovative preparation by Saving Sight saves the surgeon time in the operating room. Further clinical evaluation is needed to determine the extent to which patient outcomes are improved with preloaded DMEK grafts.

“We’re thrilled to help make DMEK more accessible to surgeons by providing preloaded tissue,” said Tony Bavuso, CEO of Saving Sight. “Our goal is to partner with eye care professionals to provide innovative solutions that help patients.”

About Saving Sight

Saving Sight is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to change lives by saving sight. Founded in 1960, Saving Sight has grown to become one of the nation’s leading eye banks and is focused on providing innovative solutions to its clinical partners. Headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., Saving Sight facilitates eye donation in Missouri, Kansas, and Illinois, impacting the lives of those both near and far through transplantation.