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Am J Ophthalmol. 2010 Dec;150(6):790-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2010.06.008. Epub 2010 Sep 1.

Spontaneous reattachment of Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty lenticles: a case series of 12 patients.

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Department of Ophthalmology, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, Great Neck, New York 11040, USA.



To review 12 cases of postoperative detachment and spontaneous reattachment of Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK) lenticles.


Retrospective, observational case series.


This was a review of patients undergoing DSAEK at 7 institutions. Patients who had a significant detachment of their DSAEK lenticle during the postoperative period were identified and divided into 2 groups. Significant detachment was defined as either complete central interface fluid with bare peripheral attachment (group 1) or a free-floating lenticle in the anterior chamber (group 2). Patients who subsequently had a spontaneous reattachment of the lenticle were identified, with data regarding surgical technique and intraoperative and postoperative complications collected for analysis.


Our cohort consisted of 12 eyes of 12 patients who met the definition of significant postoperative detachment with subsequent spontaneous reattachment. Four patients had complete central detachment with peripheral attachment (group 1), whereas 8 patients had a free-floating lenticle (group 2). Ten of the 12 patients had a successful outcome as defined as an attached and clear DSAEK lenticle. In our study, reattachment was seen as early as 5 days and as late as 7 months after surgery, with reattachment in 9 of 12 patients by day 25.


Spontaneous reattachment of detached DSAEK lenticles may occur during the postoperative period. The decision of when to bring the patient back for a rebubble ultimately must be made on a case-by-case basis.

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