Sankara Nethralaya
Sankara Nethralaya
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Brief History
The C J Shah Cornea Services at Sankara Nethralaya, established in 1978 is a centre dedicated to the management of corneal disorders. The department consists of 15 well-trained corneal surgeons including Chennai and Kolkatta. The departments are well equipped with instrumentation and technology to provide state-of-the-art care for patients suffering from a wide variety of corneal disorders. The departments have 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 in Chennai branch, about 45,000-50,000 outpatients are seen and about 3,500 surgeries are performed in the Chennai center. A total of 1200-1300 refractive surgeries and 650-700 corneal transplants are done each year.
Director: Dr Rama Rajagopal
Location: Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai
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Deputy Director: Dr N Radhika
Location: Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai
E mail id:
Chennai Centre
Consultants: Dr Prema Padmanabhan, Medical Director
Dr Sudhir R R
Dr Niveditha Narayanan
Dr Shweta S Agarwal
Dr Meena Lakshmipathy
Dr Varsha Bhambhani
Kolkata Centre
Consultants: Dr Aditi Johri
Dr Mona Bhargava
Dr Mihir A Lagvankar
Dr Raj Shekhar Paul
Dr Sunita Pandey
Clinical Services

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

Congential and hereditary corneal disorders

Corneal and scleral infections

Ectatic corneal disorders – Keratoconus, Terriens marginal degeneration, Pellucid Marginal degeneration

Immunologic disorders of cornea

Peripheral ulcerative keratitis and other diseases

Ocular surface disorders including severe dry eye, blepharitis, ocular allergies, chemical injuries, Stevens Johnson syndrome, ocular surface tumors and other diseases.

Investigations and Diagnostic Services

Corneal Topography (PENTACAM,TMS-4,TOPOLYZER,CORVIS) - Evaluates shape and power of the corneal surface. The Pentacam, based on the Schiempflug photography is unique in that it provides invaluable information that other instruments are incapable of measuring.

Confocal Microscopy: Live microscopic imaging of corneal disorders

Pachymetry - Measurement of corneal thickness using ultrasound

Aberrometry – ( I-Trace Aberrometer, Allegro Analyser) Measures the optical aberrations of the eye

Specular Microscopy - Study of the corneal endothelium (cells that maintain corneal clarity)

Anterior – Segment OCT: (Visante/ Casia)Helps identify depth of corneal scarring/lesions on the cornea, corneal thickness, anterior chamber details

Keratograph: Invaluable tool in dry eye work up

Tear Osmolarity: Measures tear osmolarity helping detect dry eye

Meibography and Lipiview

Anterior segment digital photography – Photographic documentation of various corneal conditions for baseline documentation, and monitoring effects of therapy as well as to monitor progression of the disease in any ectatic disorder.

Immunohistopathlogicial diagnosis of various immune disorders

Eye Bank
C U Shah Eye Bank in Chennai was established in 1979. It has facilities for 24 hour corneal tissue retrieval, assessment and processing under laminar flow and storage. Has a dedicated team that promotes awareness and facilitates collection of eyes. Can be contacted through dedicated telephone line number 28281919. Over 28,882 eyes have been retrived since its inception from 1980 to 2022.
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 This includes epilasik, lasik with microkeratome and femto lasik and ICL. Over 27,000 lasik procedures performed till December 2022.
Collagen cross linking for Keratoconus
Procedure performed to stabilize the disease. Over 3000 cross linking procedures done so far.

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

Penetrating Keratoplasty (PK):
Optical, tectonic and therapeutic with anterior segment reconstruction, combined with SFIOL, Vitreo-retinal procedures and Paediatric PK

Lamellar corneal surgeries:
Including Automated Lamellar Therapeutic Keratoplasty (ALTK), Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK), Descemet's Stripping EndoKeratoplasty (DSEK) and Descemet’s Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK)

Pterygium surgery

Corneal Tattooing

Management of wide range of ocular surface tumor including surgery and chemotheraphy

Comprehensive management of SJS/ chemical injuries /ocular allergies/ ocular surface disorders
The Ocular Surface Clinic, one of the first of its kind in the country, caters to a wide variety of surface disorders including dry eye, ocular allergies, chemical injuries and Stevens Johnson syndrome. Started in 2005, the clinic offers comprehensive care and makes available the entire spectrum of treatment modalities for ocular surface disorders under one roof. It is the only centre in the world which performs all kinds of keratoprosthesis (artificial cornea) surgeries. 350 Keratoprosthesis surgeries have been performed so far.

Amniotic membrane transplantation

Recurrent Pterygium surgeries

Stem cell transplantation

limbal autografts and allografts

Mucous membrane grafting

Artificial cornea (Keratoprosthesis)

  • Boston Type 1 keratoprosthesis and its variants
  • Modified Osteo-Odonto Keratoprosthesis
  • oston Type 2/Lucia Type 2 Keratoprosthesis
  • Tibial keratoprosthesis
  • Auro Keratoprosthesis
Training and courses offered
- 2 years clinical fellowship in Cornea and ocular surface disorders Click Here...
- Shorterm observership for ocular surface (1 week to 3 months) Click Here...
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