Sankara Nethralaya
Sankara Nethralaya
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The Glaucoma Services department at Sankara Nethralaya was started by a single ophthalmologist in 1981 and has since grown into one of the largest tertiary care facilities in the country.
Director: Dr Ronnie George
Location: Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai
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Deputy Director: Dr Bhaskaran M
Location: Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai
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Chennai Centre
Consultants: Dr Vijaya L, Distinguished Senior Consultant
Dr B Shantha, Senior Consultant
Dr Sripriya Krishnamoorhty
Dr Parivadhini A
Dr Rathini Lilian David
Dr Mona Khurana
Dr Trupti Sudhir Patil
Dr Sujatha V K
Dr Abha Mukund Mashruwala
Dr Divya Shetty
Dr Smita Panda
Dr Vineet Ratra
Dr Swathi Vallabh
Kolkata Centre
Consultants: Dr Wadke Vidya Arunkumar
Dr Chandana Dutta
Dr Mandabi Sengupta
Clinical services
The department is engaged in effective diagnosis and offering expert care to a highly sight threatening, often irreversible eye ailment, referred to with awe as ‘The silent thief of sight’ on account of its often inconspicuous and stealthy setting in. The confidence reposed in the deprtment’s expertise in diagnosing and treating this critical eye ailment reflects in the following patients statistics

Number of outpatients seen in last 1 year 2016-2017: 131606
Number of major glaucoma surgeries done in last one year 2016-2017: 7661
Investigational facilities:

The department is equipped with the most advanced diagnostic tools and investigational facilities needed in the evaluation and diagnosis of this dreaded eye aiment, apart from routine instruments for regular evaluation (Applanation tonometer, 3 and 4 mirror gonioscopes, 90 D), specialized equipments available include

  • Tonopen
  • Perkins tonometer
  • Dynamic Counter Tonometer(DCT)
  • Ocular response analyzer (ORA)
  • Proview tonometer
  • Rebound tonometer
  • Ultrasonic Pachymeter
  • Koeppe and Mori direct gonioscope (for pediatric angle assessment)
  • Humphry visual field analyzer (i series)
  • Frequency Doubling Perimeter(FDP)
  • Heidelberg Retinal Tomography (HRT III)
  • Optical Coherence tomography (OCT) Zeiss Cirrus
  • Anterior segment swept source optical coherence tomography (CASIA OCT)
  • OCT angiography
  • Ultrasound biomicroscopy (UBM)
  • Zeiss fundus photography unit (For stereoscopic disc photography)
Treatment facilities:

While advanced care is dispensed with the help of specialized treatment processes that include

Nd:YAG laser(Zeiss)

  • Argon laser (Zeiss)
  • Diode laser (Iridex) Luminis Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)/YAG integrated combo laser (Selecta Duet)
  • Endoscopic cyclophotocoagulation

Glaucoma surgeries are performed in fully equipped State of the art glaucoma surgical suites at its centres.

Six in Chennai and three in Kolkata


The department imparts knowledge and hands-on training on the various treatment and diagnostic modalities through intensive Fellowship programs , it has trained 65 ophthalmologists in this specialty till date through the following fellowships programs.

A description of the programs offered, objective, duration and eligibility criteria is given below

Programme: Glaucoma fellowship
Duration: 18 months

Programme: Glaucoma fellowships with Add on Research fellow ship
Duration: 24 months

Clinical glaucoma fellowship:

  • Duration: 18 months
  • Number of slots available: 2 every 6 months
  • Target students: Fresh post graduates ophthalmology
  • Goals of fellowship: Comprehensive training in all aspects of diagnosis, investigations and medical and surgical management of glaucoma. The program includes hands on training in glaucoma surgical procedures (Trabeculectomy with adjunctive antimetabolite), YAG laser iridotomy, Argon laser suture lysis, Selective laser trabeculoplasty, Diode cyclophotocoagulation

Add on Research fellow ship:

  • Duration: 6 months
  • Target students: Fresh post graduates ophthalmology
  • Number of slots available: 2 every 6 months
  • Goals of fellowship: Exposure to research methodology; biostatistics and epidemiology. Candidates are attached to one or more research studies - clinical as well as basic science related.

Selection process:

  • Screening MCQ examination followed by interviews will be conducted in month of August of each year.
  • Start either in April or October of each year.
Text books published:

Consultants from the department  have authored/co-authored a good number of works covering this particular sub-specialty as a whole and specific fields of the same. These books are considered as highly authentic and authoritative sources of knowledge and reference on the subject, by both students specializing in the field  and practitioners.

We take pleasure in sharing the same below

Practical Perimetry
- Visual field progression- Yamunadevi, Dr Ronnie George, Dr B Shantha, Dr L Vijaya

Recent advance in Ophthalmology - Neovascular glaucoma-Dr Rathini David and Dr Ronnie George

ISGS Textbook of glaucoma surgery - Management of glaucoma post vitreoretinal surgery-Dr Lingam Vijaya, Dr Rathini David and Dr Janvi Shah

Clinical Ophthalmology Medical and surgical approach - Automated Visual Field Assessment, Optic Nerve and Nerve Fiber Layer Imaging-Dr M Baskaran, Dr Arun Narayanaswamy, Dr Lingam Vijaya

Clinical Ophthalmology Medical and surgical approach - Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma -Dr M Baskaran, Dr Arun Narayanaswamy, Dr Lingam Vijaya

Clinical Ophthalmology Medical and surgical approach - Glaucoma Surgeries – Dr Lingam Vijaya, Dr M Baskaran, Dr Ronnie George, Dr Arun Narayanaswamy, Dr Sachi Devi, Dr Aditya Neog

Posterior capsule rent: Genesis and Management- Posterior capsule rent in a glaucoma patients-Dr Rathini David and Dr Lingam Vijaya

Diagnostic procedure in Ophthalmology-Gonioscopy- Dr Ronnie George, Dr A Parivadhini, Dr Arun Narayanaswamy, Dr Lingam Vijaya

Clinical Cases in Glaucoma: An evidence based Approach-Post Refractive Surgery Glaucoma- Dr Mona Khurana, Dr Aditya Neog

Manual of glaucoma- Frequency Doubling Technology Perimetry—Dr Mona Khurana, Dr Aditya Neog

Glaucoma Surgeries-Clinical Ophthalmology- L Vijaya, M Baskaran, R George, A Narayanaswamy, S Devi, A Neog. Publisher- Jaypee Highlights.

Health Economics- Anne Coleman, Steven Kymes. Kugler Publications. Medical Treatment of Glaucoma. World Glaucoma Association Consensus Series 7. 2006.

Staging systems for glaucoma- Dr Ronnie George. Glaucoma and Health Economics. International Glaucoma Review.(Suppl) 9-4 March, 2008.

Measurement of Intraocular Pressure. Intraocular Pressure. Dr. Ronnie George World Glaucoma Association Consensus 4. Kugler Publications. 2007.

Health economics. Medical Treatment of Glaucoma: Dr Ronnie George The 7th Consensus Report of the World Glaucoma Association. Kugler Publications. 2010.

Epidemiology of Glaucoma and the role of glaucoma screening in Diagnosis- Diagnosis and Management of glaucoma, Dr Ronnie George, Publisher - Jaypee publications

Natural history of Glaucoma –Diagnosis and Management of glaucoma- Dr Ronnie George - Publisher- Jaypee publications

Ultrabiomicrosopy in Glaucoma- Dr Aditya Neog, Dr. Lingam Vijaya

Wound healing in Glaucoma surgery and role of antimetabolites in glaucoma surgery- Dr Nikhil Chaudhari, Dr Lingam Vijaya

The Sankara Nethralaya Atlas of Ophthalmic Ultrasound and ultrasound biomicrocopy- Dr B Shantha, Dr Bhende Muna, Dr Harshali Kamat, Dr Parveen Sen, Dr Suchitra Pradeep, Dr Tandava Krishna, and Dr Vikas Khetan

Peer Reviewed publications in medical journals:

The subject matter expertise of the department’s Consultants/Fellows and their eloquence in sharing the same with the world is reflected in the good number of papers appearing in peer reviewed publications/ medical journals as illustrated below

  • The department has published 68 papers in peer reviewed journals since inception. 13 Publication in non index journal
  • In the last 10 yrs. 38 papers have been published.
Publications link

Impetus towards knowledge dissemination:

The department periodically conducts well-structured conferences and workshops involving top national and international faculty members as part of review, real time debate and knowledge exchange, leading to better understanding of the latest developments/trends in the field from the world over.

We take pleasure in sharing a few momentous events below-

  • Glaucoma update 2003
  • South East Glaucoma Asia glaucoma interest group(SEAGIG)2006
  • Sankara Nethralaya Glaucoma Meet (SANGAM) 2017
Honours and achievements of the faculty

Members of the department have been honoured with several prestigious awards, titles and positions in recognition of their key contributions and achievements in their field of spcialization, we take pleasure in sharing a few below

Dr Lingam Vijaya Awards Received

  1. Rustom Ranji Oration Medal - Given by AP State Ophthalmological Society- 2007
  2. Dr. Rustom D Ranji Rotary Award -for Contribution to Ophthalmology – Given by LV Prasad Eye Institute and Rotary Club Hyderabad Dist 3150 – 2008
  3. American Academy of Ophthalmology Achievement Award 2009
  4. Dr.Samir Biswas Memorial Oration - Given by Ophthalmological Society of West Bengal) - 2009
  5. Prof. T. GopinathaMenon Memorial Oration - Given by Cochin Ophthalmic Club -2009
  6. AIOS IJO Platinum Award, for the best paper published in Indian Journal of Ophthalmology - Outcomes of cataract surgery in a rural and urban south Indian population. - 2010
  7. Paul Harris Fellow, given by Rotary Foundation of Rotary International – July, 2012
  8. LC Dutta Award, given for best publication in Indian Journal of Ophthalmology – February, 2015.
  9. Fellow of National Academy of Medical Sciences (India) – September 2015
  10. APAO Achievement Award - March 2016
  11. Dr. VL Albal Oration - Given by Deccan Ophthalmological Society – September 2016
  12. Dr. P Sivareddy Oration - Given byTelengana Ophthalmological Society – July 2017
  13. Dr.Sonty Sriram Lecture and Medal – Given by AP Ophthalmological Society– October 2017
  14. FRCS from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Oct 2017

Important Positions held

  1. President Glaucoma society of India- 2006- 2008
  2. Consultant – World Health Organization- for Strategies to prevent blindness from glaucoma
  3. Member, Glaucoma research society (Formed for innovative glaucoma related research worldwide)
  4. Organizing chairperson, SEAGIG- Chennai 2006
  5. Professor and registered PhD guide, Dr MGR Medical University, Chennai, India.
  6. Member of the executive committee of the Glaucoma Research Society, 2014- 2016
  7. Member of World Glaucoma Association Global Outreach Committee.
  8. Member of Board - Asia Pacific Glaucoma Society
  9. Scientific committee member APGC, Busan, 2017
  10. Member, Board of Governors, World Glaucoma Association

Dr B Shantha Awards Received

  1. Best paper award TNOA 1993
  2. Best Paper award for APAO Taiwan 2000
  3. Ruby Banik award for best research presentation 2011
  4. Silver Jubilee VOS Dr. Ishwarchandra Award 2014

Important roles and position held

  1. Past Secretary of the Glaucoma Society of India from 2005-07
  2. Treasurer SEAGIG: 2006

Dr Ronnie George Awards Received

  1. Best Paper, Glaucoma session, All India Ophthalmic society annual meeting 2000
  2. Best Paper, Glaucoma session. Tamilnadu ophthalmic association annual meeting 2002
  3. Best Paper for Annual Glaucoma society of India 2003
  4. Ruby Banik award for best research presentation2004
  5. Special mention for poster tiled “gonioscopic characteristics of rural south Indian population” AIGS meeting, Vienna 2005
  6. AIOS – IJO Silver Award for best publications in the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology in the year 2009. (Determinants of Glaucoma awareness and knowledge in Urban Chennai)
  7. AIOS – IJO Silver Award for best publications in the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology in the year 2009. (Comparison of Humphrey MATRIX and Swedish interactive threshold algorithm standard strategy in detecting early glaucomatous visual field loss)
  8. Dr. R. N. Gandhewar Award, Vidharbha Ophthalmic Society 2011.
  9. Dr D Balasubramaniam Oration : IERG-ARVO 2015

Important roles and position held

  1. Associate Advisory Board member for the World Glaucoma Association (2007-2017)
  2. Past Secretary of the Glaucoma Society of India.
  3. Professor, Elite School of Optometry
  4. Guide: PhD Birla Institute of Technological Sciences, Pilani, (Off campus program) India
  5. Guide: PhD Sastra University, Thanjavur
  6. Associate Editor , Journal of Current Glaucoma Practice
  7. Member, Editorial Board, Journal Of Glaucoma
  8. Section editor, Glaucoma, Indian Journal Of Ophthalmology
  9. Member, Editorial Board TNOA journal
  10. Member, Education committee, World Glaucoma Association

Dr Rathini David - Best Paper for Annual Glaucoma society of India 2014
Dr Mona Khurana- Ruby Banik award for best research presentation 2015
Dr Nandini Sankaranarayanan - Best Paper at TNOA 2016 (VEL EYE- 2016)

Research and Innovation:

The department has been engaged in intensive, focused research in the field; both at the laboratory level and by conducting real time studies among the public. This has led to significant learning and innovation in the field.

We take pleasure in giving a glimpse of the same below

Major research projects completed:

  • Chennai Glaucoma Study” a “Follow up of subjects with glaucoma, ocular hypertension and narrow angles”
  • Chennai Eye Disease Incidence Study
  • Chennai Glaucoma Optic Nerve Head imaging study
  • Molecular Genetic of Glaucoma in South Indian Population
  • Total number of research project completed 64
  • In last 10 years 48 projects have been completed
Project List


    (June 2001 – February 2004)
    (February 2004 to February 2007)
    (CEDIS: February 2007- February 2010)

Funded by: The Chennai Willingdon Corporate Foundation

Glaucoma is a potentially blinding disease that affects 66 million persons worldwide. It is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. The disease is characterized by typical changes in the optic nerve (the nerve that connects the eye to the brain) with associated visual field defects (the area seen by the eye). Since the outer portion of the visual field is the first to be affected and most types of glaucoma are asymptomatic the disease is often diagnosed once significant vision/field has been lost. Therefore, early diagnosis is essential so that treatment to halt/slow progression can be instituted.

Public health planning to develop strategies for early diagnosis and treatment of this disease in the population requires data on the prevalence, distribution and pattern of the disease. Existing data from India suggest that Indians have a different pattern of disease. Recent genetic studies from the West indicate that glaucoma has a hereditary component with specific genes identified from the affected persons. There is a paucity of such data from India. If such data were available it would be possible to identify persons at risk of developing the disease.

The Chennai Glaucoma study is a population-based study, designed with a view to gather information on the prevalence of glaucoma in rural and urban South India. The study, funded by Chennai Willingdon Corporate Foundation, commenced on 2nd Nov 2000. Clinical work on the rural component started on 15th June 2001. 7785 persons, above 40 years of age, from rural Tamil Nadu and Chennai city were examined at a special facility created at Sankara Nethralaya. 3924 subjects representing the rural south Indian population participated from 27 contiguous villages of Thiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts of Tamil Nadu. 3850 Urban subjects participated from 5 randomly chosen divisions from Chennai city.


Out of 3850 subjects who participated in the study from the following urban areas. (i) Dr Radha Krishnan Nagar(ii) Siruvallore (iii) Anna Nagar Central (iv) Ashok Nagar and (v) Velachery. A cohort of subjects from this population diagnosed to have primary glaucoma, ocular hypertension, primary angle closure suspects and matched control (Normal Subjects) were followed up for a period of three years in six monthly intervals. All subjects underwent a comprehensive ocular examination during each visit.


This is a population based Incidence study and first of its kind from Asia. All subjects who have participated in the Chennai glaucoma study (2001-2004) from both the rural and urban arm had a detailed ophthalmic examination after six years. Using the information we assessed incidence of various glaucomas and the baseline risk factors for the incidence of the disease.

Major collaborations:

As part of its pursuit of newer and more effective diagnostic/treatment modalities, the department actively collaborates with world renowned institutions in terms of knowledge and skill acquisition and exchange. A few of the landmark collaborations are :

  1. Indo US collaboration (with John Hopkin’s Institute)-India US genetic study of Ocular quantitative traits
  2. Indo Dutch collaboration (Rotterdam eye hospital Netherland) Eye tracker perimeter intuitive for affordable glaucoma diagnosis and screening
  3. GWAS studyon PACG and Pseudo exfoliation with Singapore national eye institute (SNEC)
  4. Vision loss expert group of the global burden of disease
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