Corneal and Anterior Segment Diseases

A cornea and external disease specialist is an ophthalmologist who focuses on the cornea (the transparent front structure of the eye), conjunctiva (clear mucous membrane covering the white part of the eye) and the anterior segment (front structures of the eye including the iris and lens).

The cornea plays a major role in our ability to see clearly. The cornea is transparent and allows light to pass through it; it also bends the rays of light entering our eye to allow light to focus clearly. Changes in either the transparency or shape of the cornea can severely impair vision. Disorders that affect the cornea often cause severe vision loss. The conjunctiva is affected in common conditions like conjunctivitis. The anterior segment encompasses several disorders, the most common being cataract.

Disease of the cornea can be present at birth (congenital), hereditary (genetically based dystrophies), or acquired. Acquired corneal inflammation or infection may cause extremely red and painful eyes, and may require prompt intervention. Corneal transplantation is an intricate procedure that may restore sight to patients with severely damaged corneas.

Typical disorders we treat:

For more information on any of the above conditions and disorders, please visit geteyesmart.org, the official eye health information website from the American Academy of Ophthalmology

All of the cornea specialists at Weill Cornell are Board Certified ophthalmic physicians who have been trained in advanced corneal, refractive and cataract surgery at some of the finest institutions in the country. Our corneal specialists are trained in both pediatric and adult cornea and see a wide range of disorders, ranging from the routine cataract to the complicated Stevens-Johnson syndrome. They perform highly complex surgeries including corneal transplantation, ocular surface reconstruction (with amniotic membranes), complex and premium cataract surgery, and refractive surgery (both custom LASIK and surface ablation).

The cornea specialists at Weill Cornell are using the latest state-of-the-art technology. Corneal transplantation has advanced greatly over the last several years. Currently, our surgeons are performing traditional penetrating corneal transplantation, selective endothelial transplantation (DSEK), artificial corneal transplantation (keratoprosthesis) and laser-assisted transplantation. Our refractive surgeries are performed with the latest Intralase machine to allow for "bladeless" LASIK and the Star S4 machine to provide custom wavefront-guided treatments.

Our cornea specialists are actively involved in advancing the field of cornea. Through clinical and basic research, they have made valuable contributions to both the understanding and treatments of different disorders. Weill Cornell has one of the biggest burn units in the country and many of these patients need the expertise of a cornea specialist. Weill Cornell cornea specialists have developed one of the most advanced treatment plans for patients with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a severe form of an allergic reaction.

The Weill Cornell Cornea Service offers ophthalmic expertise in our state-of-the-art Ophthalmology Department at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/ Weill Cornell Medical Center. We look forward to welcoming you to our facility. Please contact us at 646-962-2020 to make an appointment.


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