Ask A Doctor Appointment
Sankara Nethralaya
Sankara Nethralaya
Home About Us Patient Care Education Research LASIK Donate Now Career Contact Us



The C J Shah Cornea Services at Sankara Nethralaya, established in 1978 and presently headed by Dr Prema Padmanabhan, is a centre dedicated to the management of corneal disorders. The department consists of 8 well-trained corneal surgeons and is well equipped with instrumentation and technology to provide state-of-the-art care for patients suffering from a wide variety of corneal disorders. The department has an elaborate academic and surgical training programme for fellows in cornea and external eye diseases. Research programme encompasses both basic and clinical work involving corneal diseases and transplantation. In a year about 45,000-50,000 outpatients are seen and about 3,500 surgeries are performed in the department. A total of 1200-1300 refractive surgeries and 650-700 corneal transplants are done each year.

Clinical Profile:

The department caters to the efficient diagnosis and management of a wide range of diseases:

Congential and hereditary cornea disorders
Corneal infections
Allergic eye diseases
Immunologic disorders of cornea
Keratoconus and other corneal degenerations
Ocular surface disorders including severe dry eye, blepharitis, chemical injuries, Stevens Johnson's syndrome
Ocular surface tumors
Refractive errors


The department offers most recent advances in the field of corneal surgery which include:


(Optical, tectonic and therapeutic) with anterior segment reconstruction, Combined with SFIOL Vitreo-retinal procedures and Paediatric PK

Lamellar corneal surgeries:

Including Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK), Deep Lamellar Endothelial Keratoplasty (DLEK) and Descemet's Stripping EndoKeratoplasty (DSEK), Automated Lamellar Therapeutic Keratoplasty (ALTK)

Refractive corneal surgery:

Refractive surgery offers the state of art facility for various laser refractive procedures like LASIK, Epi-LASIK, PRK and Wavefront guided customized ablation

Ocular surface reconstruction surgeries
Collagen Cross Linking for keratoconus

Ocular Surface Clinic:
The first of its kind in the country, caters to a wide variety of surface disorders including dry eye, chemical injuries, Stevens Johnson syndrome and ocular surface neoplasias. The surgical management includes:
Ocular surface reconstruction
Pterygium surgeries
Stem cell transplantation (limbal autografts and allografts) including Ex-vivo stem cell culture and transplantation
Amniotic membrane transplantation
Mucous membrane grafting
Modified osteo-odonto keratoprosthesis(MOOKP) for severe bilateral end-stage ocular surface disorders
Recent Advances

Customized laser refractive surgery:

A strategy to correct not only the refractive error but also the other optical imperfections of the eye, known as aberrations.

Collagen cross linking for keratoconus:

A new modality for arresting progression of keratoconus by strengthening the corneal collagen fibres, involving the use of UV-Light and Riboflavin.

Facilities & Diagnostic Services

Evaluates shape and power of corneal surface. The Pentacam, based on the Schiempflug photography is unique in that it provides
invaluable information that other instruments are incapable of measuring.
Measurement of corneal thickness
Measures the optical aberrations of the eyeball
Specular Microscopy
Study of the corneal endothelium (cells that maintain corneal clarity)
Anterior segment digital photography
Microbiological and histopathological evaluation of diseases of external eye diseases
Immunohistopathlogicial diagnosis of various immune disorders
Specialized Contact lens fitting – for irregular cornea, keratoconus and for therapeutic purposes
Eye Bank
24 hour corneal tissue retrieval, assessment and processing under laminar flow and storage. A dedicated team that promotes awarness of eye donation. Can be contacted through dedicated telephone line number 28281919
Teaching activities

Postgraduate teaching:

Aims at providing an in-depth knowledge of various corneal disorders and diagnostic procedures to the postgraduate students.

The Cornea Fellowship training programme:

Comprehensive training programme in various aspects of medical and surgical management of corneal disorders

Research activities

Major ongoing research projects are:

Ex-vivo stem cell culture on human amniotic membrane
Ex-vivo stem cell culture on thermoreversible synthetic polymer
Evaluation of efficacy and safety of episcleral implants for high risk corneal grafts
Multicenter clinical trials involving , various durgs, implants and contact lenses
Genetic diseases in corneal dystrophies

Head of the Department :

Dr Prema Padmanabhan
Consultants : Dr. Rama Rajagopal
Dr. N Radhika
Dr. R R Sudhir
Dr. Iyer Geetha Krishnan
Dr. Bhaskar Srinivasan
Dr. Niveditha Narayanan
Dr. Mona Bhargava (Kolkatta)
Dr. Shweta S Agarwal
Dr. Meena Lakshmipathy
Head of the Department - Cataract and IOL Surgery
Dr Prema Padmanabhan
Sankara Nethralaya, JKCN Complex,
21, Pycrofts Garden Road,
Chennai 600 006.
Tel: 91-44-28233556, 28271616, 28311913
Extn. 2251