Advanced Cornea Surgery

The cornea is the clear, front portion of the eye which allows rays of light to pass through and be focused on the retina. Various problems can occur with the cornea to make it cloudy, thereby affecting vision. Injuries, inherited conditions, infections, and aging can cause clouding or distortion which leads to poor vision. At times, this can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or medications, but sometimes surgery is necessary. Most procedures are performed in an outpatient setting and have improved greatly over the years.

With the advancement of new techniques, our methods at Piedmont Eye Center are more precise and effective than ever before. Dr. Gene Moss uses a more advanced method of corneal surgery (DSAEK, DMEK & DALK), replacing the older method of cornea transplantation, known to have  higher risks.

Dr. Gene Moss, the area’s only cornea specialist, provides the most advanced type of corneal surgery available to provide our patients the highest level of care.  If you’ve been told you have a corneal problem, don’t you owe yourself the very best in care from a cornea specialist?  Call today for your appointment.


What kind of training does a corneal specialist go through?

Typically, a cornea specialist is an ophthalmologist who underwent the typical training of a four-year medical school program, followed by at least one year of medical or general surgical internship, a three-year general ophthalmology residency, and finally a year of subspecialty fellowship training in cornea. Dr. Gene Moss is Piedmont Eye Center’s cornea specialist, who provides the most advanced treatments in corneal disease available. In addition, Dr. Moss provides advanced cataract surgery and sees patients at our Bedford location as well as our Lynchburg office.

What is the cornea?

The cornea is the clear part of the front of the eye overlying the pupil. It is that part of the eye that a contact lens would rest upon.

What kind of conditions can affect the health of the cornea?

A healthy cornea is clear and allows for good vision. There are many hereditary and acquired corneal diseases and conditions that can affect the clarity of the cornea. Trauma that causes corneal scarring is an example of an acquired condition that can affect vision. An example of a common hereditary corneal disease is a condition known as Fuch’s (pronounced ‘Fooks’) corneal dystrophy, named after the German ophthalmologist that described it. This condition affects the innermost lining of the cornea of both eyes and typically progresses very slowly over years affecting vision in later stages.

What is a corneal transplant?

Corneal transplant surgery is a procedure performed to replace the diseased cornea with a healthy ‘donor’ cornea. Tissue is acquired through a donor eye bank and prepared for use when needed by the surgeon. Without organ donation, this surgery would not be possible. The typical method used in conventional transplantation requires the surgeon to remove the entire central diseased cornea followed by suturing the donor cornea into place. A more advanced method, known as DSAEK, is newer technique that may offer a better option for certain patients. It involves replacing the innermost lining of the diseased cornea with healthy donor tissue.

What is DSAEK?

Descemet’s Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK) is a new technique of corneal transplantation that, compared to conventional methods, provides for more rapid visual improvement and healing while reducing the risk for serious complications. The conventional method of corneal transplantation, requires a full thickness replacement of the central cornea- that front part of the eye that overlies the pupil and which a contact lens would rest upon. This procedure is more complex and requires sutures to secure the new tissue into place. With DSAEK, only the most inner lining of the patient’s cornea is replaced and can be done through a small incision that requires minimal suturing.

What is DMEK?

Descemet’s membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK) is the latest and most exciting option available to treat damaged corneas. This newer form of corneal transplant procedure uses extremely thin donor tissue (just 5% of corneal thickness) and provide more patients with 20/20 or 20/25 than DSEK. In fact, DMEK provides 20/25 or better vision for about 3 out of 4 patients.  Additionally, the risk of rejection is reduced with DMEK to less than 1 percent.

Possible candidates for DMEK: Fuch’s endothelial dystrophy, posterior polymorphous membrane dystrophy, bulls keratopathy, congenital hereditary endothelia dystrophy and more.

What is DALK?

Deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK) is a surgical procedure for removing the corneal stroma down to Descemet’s membrane. It is most useful for the treatment of corneal disease in the setting of a normally functioning endothelium. This can be an effective treatment for any pathology of the anterior cornea as long as the patient has an intact, functioning endothelium. Keratoconus and corneal scars patients are more commonly in need of DALK.  Keratoconus patients are typically good candidates for this procedure because they are typically younger  and have healthy endothelium.


What Our Patients Think

  • Riley Hart /
  • Staci Hamlett /
    I couldn't recommend a better doctor, a better facility, and I'm so glad I did it.
  • Brenda Edson in front of a brick home
    Brenda Edson /
    "I could not have asked for a better experience at Piedmont Eye Center. From my very first visit, the staff was friendly, knowledgeable, and genuinely interested in me."
  • Bobby Moore /
    "I wish I would have done it many years ago now."
  • Bryan Mitchell outside of a football stadium
    Bryan Mitchell / ANALYST
    "My vision was the best it had been since I was a teen. I had my LASIK surgery performed almost 2 years ago, and it is as good today as it was then."
  • Caroline Trexler /
    "They ensured that the entire process from preliminary appointments to follow up visits went seamlessly – the perfect team that gave me perfect vision."
    "All and all, this has been a very pleasant and beneficial period for me. I recommend it highly for anyone in a similar situation.'
  • Cynthia Stewart standing outside
    Cynthia /
    "I feel almost like a new person It’s a wonderful feeling to wake up in the morning and be able to actually see across the room without fumbling for my glasses. "
  • Frances / RETIRED
    "Dr. Ceballos has always been very positive, clarifying everything medically, never leaving me in doubt and has always made me feel special and important."
  • Guy / RETIRED
    "The procedure was painless, and now I’m happy to say I only wear glasses to read. I have 20/20 vision in my left eye and 20/25 in my right. "
  • Janice Bloom standing in front of a tree
    "Dr. Bowers and his staff treated me with the utmost in professional care, making sure I was comfortable throughout the entire process."
  • Barbara / RETIRED
    "The procedure was pain free and I am so pleased with the results. It was money well spent and it is unbelievable how clear and colorful everything is. I want to tell Dr. Bowers and his staff how grateful I am."
  • Jerome / RETIRED
    "Doctor Vogel has treated me professionally as has his staff. They have been caring and have answered my questions to my satisfaction."
  • Jon Dupin standing outside of a brick home
    Jon Dupin / PASTOR
    "LASIK is not just a medical advancement to me; it’s a miracle"
  • Josh Brewer / HUMANITARIAN AID
    "Because of Dr. Bowers and his team at Piedmont Eye Center, my everyday life is now a whole lot easier. "
  • Judy Bowman / MISSIONARY
    "My experience of having Laser Vision Correction was fantastic. Dr. Bowers and all his staff are so knowledgeable and professional, yet very personal, warm, caring, and friendly."
  • Lucy standing in a classroom
    Lucy /
    "Dr. Bowers and his team were very comforting. The next morning, I opened my eyes and was able to see the alarm clock across the room, which I was never able to see before. It was a miracle!"
  • Martha Ann / GRANDMOTHER
    "It is a wonderful feeling to have no RX lenses. I want to thank Dr. Bowers and the Surgery Center for the freedom I feel.”
  • Monica Shelton / Featured Patient
    "Everyone told me what they were going to be doing to me and what to expect every step of the way. My experience with Piedmont Eye Center and Dr. Bowers and the whole LASIK team was awesome!"
  • Adelia / RETIRED
    "God led me to Dr. Vogel. He is absolutely the most wonderful doctor in the world. Not only is he a great doctor, he is a great ‘people person’. You always feel safe with him."
  • Penny Abbot in front of a home
    Penny Abbott / Financial Consultant
    "From the great staff who helped me, to the simplicity of setting up my flexible spending account, to my complete satisfaction and enjoyment of having clear sight, this has been an easy process."
    "The staff at Piedmont eased my nerves and the procedure was swift and smooth."
  • Sue Earsing and lasik eye surgery
    "I have always seen the world through glasses or contacts, so the sharpness of vision I have now was never there before."
    “Dr. Bowers not only met my expectations, he surpassed them. I had no idea that vision like this was possible. I no longer struggle in the shadows of a course- everything is clearer.”
  • Troy Doss
    "Piedmont Eye Center takes care of the little things to make LASIK a comfortable process."
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