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Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences

Clinical activities

Ocular Genetics  |  Retinoblastoma  |  NeuroVision  |  Ocular Reconstruction Program  |  Retinopathy of Prematurity

The Department of Opthalmology and Vision Science has five major areas of clinical activities:

Ocular Genetics

This program deals with all forms of genetically-determined or inherited eye disease. Inherited eye disorders are the leading causes of blindness in childhood. Our ocular genetic team is unique in the country and in North America because of our multidisciplinary approach to patient care. Using the resources available from the Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory at SickKids, we provide molecular diagnosis to a large portion of patients in a reasonable time frame. This helps to establish the correct diagnosis for appropriate counseling and management. We are participating in the first international gene replacement therapy clinical trial. See Ocular Genetics and Retinoblastoma Program in Research Activities.


This program deals with retinoblastoma, the leading cause of ocular malignancy in childhood. Our retinoblastoma team provides service to 100 per cent of children with retinoblastoma in Ontario, as well as Alberta and Manitoba. The Toronto Chemotherapy Protocol developed by us is currently being validated through a multicenter, international clinical trial. We led the Canadian Strategy Working group to produce the first Guidelines for Retinoblastoma Care that was published worldwide. This program is a good example of translational research that brings molecular biology knowledge from the laboratory to bedside in order to improve patient outcomes.  See Ocular Genetics and Retinoblastoma Program in Research Activities.


This program integrates the various clinical subspecialties involved in the investigation of normal and abnormal vision development. The clinical subspecialties include strabismus, neuro-ophthalmology, and ocular genetics. Neuro-ophthalmology is at the heart of NeuroVision. We provide highly specialized care to patients who have visual problems as a result of various brain diseases. We also provide services to patients with complex strabismus and amblyopia. We work very closely with other services in the hospital, including Neurology, Neurosurgery, Neuro-oncology, Neuroradiology, as well as Metabolic and Genetic diseases. See NeuroVision Program in Research Activities.

Ocular Reconstruction Program

This program integrates the various clinical subspecialties of glaucoma, cataract, corneal diseases and transplantation, oculoplastic and retina. It focuses on surgical innovation. Our talented surgeons aim at optimizing the surgical management of various causes of vision loss, including trauma, severe retinal damage and congenital ocular/orbital/lid deformities. Management methods include selective corneal transplantation, ocular surface reconstruction, iris repair, cataract removal and intraocular lens placement, glaucoma surgery, and management of uveitis among others. We deal with the most complex surgical cases in the country. See Surgical Innovation/Ocular Reconstruction Program in Research Activities.

Retinopathy of Prematurity

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a potentially blinding disease in infants born prematurely. Timely treatment is critical to reduce the risk of permanent blindness. We use an innovative approach to enable remote screening for ROP using telemedicine and digital imaging. We have established a multidisciplinary ROP team for the daily screenings and medical treatments of ROP.  Our valued retina surgeons are responsible for the management of the most complex cases requiring surgical “rescue”. Our Telemedicine Project includes the Sudbury and Barrie sites and was the first place award recipient of the Celebrating Innovations in Health Care 2010 from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

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