To report spontaneous corneal clearing with improved visual acuity and central endothelial cell repopulation after the removal of a dislocated donor button following Descemet stripping endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK).
Interventional case report.
An 84-year-old woman with decreased visual acuity in the right eye secondary to Fuchs endothelial dystrophy and cataract underwent combined cataract extraction, intraocular lens implantation, and DSEK. After primary graft failure, the resulting detached, opaque, and retracted donor lenticule was removed from the eye 2 months after the initial surgery and not replaced. The cornea started to clear after the donor button removal with central endothelial cell repopulation.
Corneal deturgescence is not strictly dependent on donor lenticule adhesion to the host posterior stromal surface. Endothelial cell migration and repopulation of the central cornea can occur after DSEK and after the removal of the failed endothelial graft, with corneal clearing and improved visual outcomes.