CITY CONDITIONS UPDATE: The Wills Eye Hospital building, staff, and patients have been safe during the protests in the City. We will continue to monitor the situation. Friday care will proceed as scheduled at 840 Walnut Street unless conditions change. Please contact your physician if you are unable to keep your appointment.

Cornea Service

Christopher J. Rapuano, Chiefs, Cornea Service, WIlls Eye Hospital
Christopher J. Rapuano, MD, Chief, Cornea Service

The Cornea and External Disease Service of Wills Eye treats patients with disorders of the cornea and outer coats of the eye, including the conjunctiva and sclera.

Conditions affecting these parts of the eye can cause redness, pain and decreased vision.

Common diagnoses we treat include corneal swelling after cataract surgery, Fuchs corneal dystrophy (which can cause corneal swelling either before or after cataract surgery), keratoconus (thin, irregular cornea often starting in childhood or young adulthood), recurrent erosion syndrome (episodes of eye pain often in the middle of the night or upon awakening). We also treat many patients with symptoms of eye dryness and grittiness, often caused by ocular dryness (not making enough tears) or eyelid inflammation (often from blepharitis or meibomitis when the eyelid oils aren’t produced properly and don’t coat the surface of the eye as they should). We see many patients with herpes simplex eye infections (the same virus that can cause cold sores around the mouth and face) and herpes zoster eye infections (the virus that causes shingles).

For corneal swelling we perform a variety of endothelial keratoplasty procedures which transplant the back layers of the cornea including DMEK (Descemet’s membrane endothelial keratoplasty) and DSEK (Descemet’s stripping endothelial keratoplasty), When deeper layers of the cornea are involved, e.g. for keratoconus, then we perform other types of corneal transplantation such as DALK (deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty) and PK (penetrating keratoplasty). When the cornea problems are more superficial, we can often treat them with excimer laser PTK (phototherapeutic keratectomy).

We were involved in the FDA trials for corneal crosslinking for keratoconus and post-refractive surgery ectasia and continue to perform that procedure.

For eyelid inflammation not responding to medical therapy, we offer an in-office Lipiflow procedure which can often improve dryness symptoms by clearing out the Meibomian glands.

We are also involved in the latest refractive surgery procedures to treat nearsightedness, astigmatism and farsightedness, including PRK and LASIK.

Our Service includes a full-time staff of attending surgeons, fellows and residents. Each patient is carefully examined by one or more physicians and then given an individualized treatment plan, based on the latest and best therapies. We are dedicated to improving vision, preventing corneal and external diseases of the eye and providing the best patient care available.


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Clinic Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. — 4:30 p.m.

Wills Eye Hospital
840 Walnut Street, Suite 920
Philadelphia PA 19107

Phone: (215) 928-3180
Fax: (215) 928-3854

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Director: Christopher J. Rapuano, MD