To describe a method to visualize and manage a completely detached Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK) tissue scroll in the anterior chamber.
A 56-year-old male patient with pseudophakic bullous keratopathy, who underwent uncomplicated DMEK surgery, had a complete graft detachment diagnosed at 1-week follow-up. The graft was reattached using a new technique, that is, the free-floating graft was stained in the anterior chamber with trypan blue, immediately followed by air injection to separate the host stroma from the dye. The stained DMEK graft was opened by gentle tapping and attached to the host stroma by air tamponade.
This technique allowed sufficient staining of DMEK tissue to further evaluate and correct the graft orientation inside the anterior chamber without compromising the stroma. The DMEK graft was attached 1 week after the reattachment procedure. The cornea cleared confirming the functionality of the endothelial cells.
The technique described may be useful in the cases of complete detachment of DMEK tissue and poor visualization of the DMEK tissue orientation. Staining with trypan blue under a “protective” air bubble can provide sufficient visualization to ensure the unfolding of DMEK tissue and reduce the risk of host stromal staining.