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Sankara Nethralaya
Sankara Nethralaya
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Brief History

The Oculoplasty, Orbit and aesthetics department at Sankara Nethralaya stands as a living testimony to the far sightedness and pioneering spirit of the institution’s founder. In 1982, there was no Ophthalmic hospital in India which was offering comprehensive diagnosis and clinical/surgical management of aesthetic/functional abnormalities in the eyelids, the orbit region (bony structure around the eye) and the lacrimal system (tear drainage system); abnormalities present in birth or caused by accident or disease.

Chairman Emeritus Dr. SS Badrinath in 1982 envisioned the need for an Oculoplasty, Orbit and Aesthetics department to provide for diagnosis and expert treatment of congenital anomalies, injuries of the eyelids & Orbit besides tumours of the Eyelids & Orbit. Dr. Badrinath invited Dr. Nirmala Subramanian, a Plastic Surgeon, to set up and operate an exclusive Orbital & Reconstructive surgery department at Sankara Nethralaya.

For the last thirty-five years the Oculoplasty Department has marched ahead with ushering in more ancillary services & catering to an ever increasing number of patients from all over India and neighbouring countries.

The department is headed by its Director Dr Bipasha Mukherjee who is ably supported by a team of expert medical professionals from diverse specialties that include pathology, radiology, oncology, neurosurgery, oro-facio-maxillary surgery and Otolaryngology who serve as visiting consultants.

Faculty & the expert team of surgeons;

Prof. Dr. Nirmala Subramanian M.S., M. Ch. (Plastic Surgery)
Professor Emeritus, Oculoplastic Surgery, Sankara Nethralaya.

Director & HOD: Dr Bipasha Mukherjee, M.S., D.N.B.
Dr Kirthi Koka, M.S, Assistant consultant
Dr Nisar Sonam Poonam, Associate Consultant
Dr Mohomed Shahid Alam, Associate Consultant

Support Personnel

Dr J. Biswas, M.S. & Dr. K.Krishna Kumar, M.D. (Pathology)
Dr Veena Noronha, M.D. (Radiology)
Dr Swatee Halbe, M.D. (Interventional Radiology)
Dr Sumathi V (E.N.T.)
Dr Ramesh D (E.N.T)
Dr Ananthnarayanan (Oro-facio-maxillary Surgeon)
Dr Anita Ramesh (Pediatric Oncologist)

The following are some of the common issues for which procedures are carried out at the Department:

  • Congenital anomalies of the Eyelids.
  • Drooping of the Eyelids ( Ptosis)
  • Absence of eye either at birth or due to an injury.
  • Tumours of the Eyelid.
  • Protrusion of the Eye ball due to tumour in the Orbit.
  • Thyroid Eye Disease.
  • Deformities following injuries.
  • Fractures of the Orbit.
  • Eyelids malposition.
  • Burns of the Eyelids.
  • Blepharoplasty, Botox injection, filler injections.
  • Socket reconstruction.
  • Lacrimal drainage system surgeries.
  • Customized Eye-shell fabrication.
Click here for the entire list of Procedures

The institute has excellent support facilities, diagnostic equipment like Ultrasound A & B Scan, X-ray facility, CT & MRI Scans (outside collaboration), well established ocular microbiology, pathology, and genetic lab, a world class surgical theatre equipped with operating microscope, endoscopes, surgical lights, fibre optic light, bipolar and unipolar cautery unit, Ellman Radio frequency cutting- coagulating system, radiotherapy (outside collaboration) and chemotherapy facilities.

Ocular prosthetic clinic

The department has a dedicated ‘Ocular prosthetic Clinic’ manned by well trained and skilled ocularists serving on a full time basis. These ocularists are experts in developing customized ‘artificial eye shells’ that fit the patient precisely. This goes a long way in reducing the deformity that could be caused by removal of an eye due to various reasons and the accompanying social stigma.

Useful Information for Out-station patients

How do I get there?
Sankara Nethralaya is located on College road, in central Chennai. If you are traveling by train, Chennai Egmore/Chennai Central are the nearest railway stations. It takes 20 minutes by road to reach the institute from Chennai Central Station and 10 minutes from Egmore railway station. If you're flying, the Chennai International/domestic airport is located approx 20 km from the institute requiring a 40- 60 minute drive depending on the traffic.

How do I Plan my stay?
Typical eyelid or orbital surgery requires a 7-10 days stay in Chennai. Hospital stay is usually for a day or two, however most surgeries are on a day care basis.

Where should I stay in Chennai?
Sankara Nethralaya offers various options for Inpatient services. Based on the type of room, you may be allowed 2, 1 or no accompanying person in the room. Nearby Greams Road area has several good Hotels with a wide price range. They are convenient for your stay before/after the surgery. While we do not personally handle your stay, bookings, a list of Hotels is given here (Link to hotels near SN)


The personnel at the department have demonstrated their knowledge and skills by winning various Awards/Honours and presenting papers at their academic centre and various meets/conferences/seminars

Best outgoing fellow award:
Dr Shubhra Goel (2007-8)
Dr Meghana Anika Varde (2009-10)
Dr Marian Anne Jacob (2010-11)
Dr Omega Priyadarshini (2012-13)
Dr KirthiKoka (2015-16)
Dr Vathsalya Vijay (2016-17)

  • Dr Bipasha Mukherjee & Dr Kirthi Koka: Best paper of Tamil Nadu Annual Conference, 2014
  • Dr Mohammad ShahidAlam: Best video award, Synapse, SN, 2016
  • Dr Mohammad ShahidAlam: Dr Natrajan Pillai Best paper award, SN Alumni meet, 2016
  • Dr NisarSonam Poonam: Runner up, Best case presentation. Midterm OPAI, Hyderabad, 2016
  • Oculoplasty Association of India (OPAI), Baroda, 2016
    • Dr Mohammad Shahid Alam: Best paper
    • Dr VarshaBackiavathy: Best paper
    • Dr Vathsalya Vijay: Best poster
  • Dr VarshaBackiavathy: Winner of Oculoplasty Quiz, OPAI, Baroda.
  • Ocular Trauma society of India (OTSI)
    • Dr Kirthi Koka: Best challenging case, OTSI 2015, Guwahati
    • Dr Kirthi Koka: Best video, OTSI 2015, Guwahati
    • Dr RuchiPherwani: Best paper presentation, OTSI 2017, Dahod
  • Dr Mohammad ShahidAlam: Best Video award, SN Alumni meet, 2017.
  • Dr NisarSonam Poonam & Dr Kirthi Koka: Mayan award for exemplary voluntary rescue work during Chennai floods.

The department offers a long term fellowship training program in Orbit, Oculoplasty, Reconstructive and Aesthetic services. The department has also trained two doctors from Egypt and Bangladesh as part of the International Council of Ophthalmology three month fellowship training program.

Fellowship in Orbit, Oculoplasty, Reconstructive and Aesthetic services
Duration: 2 Years
Numbers of positions/year: 2 (one every 6 months)
Research fellowship: Duration - 6 months
Starting Date: 1st April & 1st October
Application Deadline: 31st January & 31st July
Selection Process: Written test & Interview in February & August

The applicant should have completed post-graduation (M.S/ M.D/ D.N.B) in ophthalmology prior to beginning the Fellowship.

Other Requirements
Medical license- The applicant must be registered with Medical Council of India

Current stipend is 25,000 INR per month (subject to change)
Annually, 14 days of paid vacation

Parent Department or Academic Unit:
Medical Research Foundation, Department of Orbit, Oculoplasty, Reconstructive, & Aesthetics

Sankara Nethralaya
Old no.18, New no. 41, College Road
Chennai - 600006.
Telephone: 91-44-28271616
Fax: 91-44-28254180

Administrative Contact:
Extn. No.: 1496

Primary Clinical Training Site
Sankara Nethralaya Main Hospital
18 College Road, Chennai -600006

Ancillary training sites
Jaslok Community Ophthalmology Center, Greams Road, Chennai – 6.
Aditya Birla Sankara Nethralaya, Mukundapur, Kolkata
VRR Scan Center, Habibullah Road, Chennai -17.

Guidelines and norms for aspiring fellows

Application for the Fellowship should be sent to:
Dr Bipasha Mukherjee, Director
Department of Orbit, Oculoplasty& Trauma,
18 College Road, Medical Research Foundation, Chennai - 600006

The application should include your curriculum vitae, letters from your Department Chairperson and testimonials from two other referees.

In an effort to get to know you better, we also request a handwritten essay to enable you to tell us more about yourself as a person. We review applications only after the above requirements have been met. An interview in Chennai will be requested of those applicants who seem to fit our program best.

Administrative questions may be directed to:
Ms.Latha J. Vincent

Please click here to download Application Form
Publications by the department
On the research front, currently eight research projects are being conducted in the department. As the orbit, oculoplasty and ocular oncology department is poised for significant growth in the patient services, research, and teaching & training, a need based assessment of human and other resources is being planned.
  2. Prospective clinical evaluation of EXTERNAL AND ENDONASAL Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR)