Cornea, External Disease, and Refractive Surgery

Leaders in Cornea Research, Education and Patient Care

The internationally acclaimed Cornea, External Disease, and Refractive Surgery Division boasts an impressive research program, a comprehensive training program, and unrivaled clinical care to the 35,000 plus patients its team of eight talented board-certified ophthalmologists treat each year.

The primary aim of the Cornea Division is to benefit individuals experiencing visual impairment due to structural changes or anomalies of the anterior segment. These individuals often experience acute or chronic redness of the eye and/or profound visual impairment caused by diseases of the cornea such as corneal dystrophies (e.g. keratoconus or Fuchs’ dystrophy); corneal inflammation, scarring and ulcers; dry eye; keratoconus; ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN); or conjunctival melanoma. Duke physicians have access to the latest noninvasive diagnostic imaging techniques to accurately diagnose these conditions, and employ a wide range of leading edge techniques and surgical interventions to treat these patients, who often experience dramatic improvement in their sight. Examples include full and partial-thickness corneal transplantation; artificial cornea implants; cataract surgery; intraocular lens exchange; anterior segment reconstruction; removal of surface disease and ocular tumors; and a number of refractive surgeries such as LASIK.

The Cornea Division has a robust research program and is at the forefront of innovative medical therapies. Consequently, the division receives a number of referrals and complex cases from across the region each year. This fosters a stimulating, highly-challenging, and highly-rewarding environment for the medical school students, residents, and fellows that comprise the department’s educational program. Together, the Cornea Division is making remarkable strides in improving quality of life for their patients, pioneering groundbreaking research, and molding future leaders.