Public Notice: Magnet Recognition Program

Corneal and External Disease

The Corneal and External Diseases Service at the USC Roski Eye Institute provides medical and surgical expertise in the management of the full spectrum of corneal and external eye diseases. Our consultations include in-depth comprehensive corneal evaluations and the latest in medical diagnostic services and computerized topography. Our services provide ophthalmology treatment for disorders affecting the surface of the eye. By understanding the specifics of your corneal disease, a unique treatment plan can be formulated for the most effective results. To learn more about how our cornea and external disease ophthalmologists can help you, contact us online or call 323-442-6335 today.

Conditions We Treat

  • Bullous Keratopathy
  • Cataracts
  • Chalazion/Stye
  • Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
  • Corneal Astigmatism
  • Corneal Dystrophies
  • Corneal Infection (Keratitis)
  • Corneal Scarring
  • Corneal Ulcer
  • Dry Eye
  • Fuchs Endothelial Dystrophy
  • Herpes Scars
  • Keratoconus
  • Pterygium
  • Rosacea
  • Watery Eyes/Tearing

Diagnostic Services

Corneas can be damaged through inflammation, degeneration, allergies, infections, injuries and inherited dystrophies. We offer the most advanced technology in the diagnosis of corneal diseases such as:

  • Corneal and anterior segment optical coherent tomography imaging
  • Wavefront analyzers
  • Microbiological studies
  • Computerized corneal modeling technology to corneal topography

FAQ With the Experts

Treatments for Corneal Diseases

Treatments for corneal diseases may range from lifestyle adjustments, such as eliminating allergens, the use of visual aids and medications, to refractive surgeries and corneal transplantation. Our cornea specialists have been at the forefront of many corneal surgical procedures, which include treatment of conjunctiva and corneal infections, corneal degenerations and other ocular surface abnormalities. Surgical procedures include:

  • Anterior segment reconstruction
  • Cataract and intraocular Lens Surgery
  • Refractive corneal surgery
  • Cataract surgery

We are one of few centers in the country with expertise in all corneal transplant procedures. Each patient is assessed individually with our highly advanced diagnostic and treatment protocols. If the need should arise for human donor corneal transplants, our management expertise minimizes risk of donor tissue rejection and rapidly decreases recovery time.
The USC Roski Eye Institute was the first center in California to offer
Desemet’s Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK) corneal transplants.

We provide the following corneal transplant procedures:

  • DSEK and DMEK – DSEK and Desemet’s Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty, treatment of Fuch’s endothelial dystrophy or bullous keratopathy.
  • FLAK – Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Keratoplasty, treatment of corneal scars, keratoconus and herpes scars
  • KPros – Keratoprosthesis, or artificial corneal transplant, treatment of a failed corneal transplant
  • DALK – Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty, treatment of keratoconus and herpes scars
  • PK – Penetrating Keratoplasty for the treatment of corneal scars
  • PROSE – Prosthetic Replacement of the Ocular Surface Ecosystem (PROSE) treatment, a nonsurgical procedure, treatment of irregular corneas and ocular surface diseases is offered through our Specialty Contact Lenses and PROSE Treatments

PROSE Service

In addition to our optometric services, the USC Roski Eye Institute offers the innovative prosthetic replacement of the ocular surface ecosystem (PROSE) treatment for more severe corneal issues and ocular surface disease. PROSE treatment involves specialty, scleral prosthetic devices that are custom-designed to help improve vision, comfort or support of the ocular surface. As one of 12 national sites offering PROSE treatment, our physicians are able to individualize treatment of irregular corneas and ocular surface disease.

The BostonSight® PROSE clinic at the USC Roski Eye Institute, which opened in 2009, is supervised by Charles Flowers, MD, Director of Cornea, External Disease and Refractive Surgery, and Gloria Chiu, OD, FAAO, FSLS, Boston Sight PROSE Clinical Fellow. The PROSE clinic at the USC Roski Eye Institute was the third site of 12 opened nationally and boasts the highest level of experience in delivering PROSE treatment outside of Boston where the treatment was pioneered.

If you are interested in PROSE treatment, you will need a referral from a primary eye care provider or a medical doctor. PROSE treatment generally involves multiple visits, which include a consultation, training for proper device wear and maintenance, and follow up visits to design and evaluate fitting of custom devices.


Advances in Cornea Research

Our researchers and clinicians continue to make breakthroughs in the field of Cornea and External Diseases. Some of these advancements are listed below:

  • USC Roski Eye Institute corneal surgeons were part of the original prospective, large-study protocol for first lamellar surgeries performed in the U.S.
  • Our clinicians participate in the National Institutes of Health-sponsored clinical trial studies of the most state-of-the-art corneal treatments.

Whether your corneal disease has been affecting your eyesight for years, or you are only just beginning to experience symptoms indicating a disease, our cutting edge treatments can provide you with the care you deserve. All of our physicians are American board certified and fellowship trained subspecialists. To learn more about corneal diseases and their treatments, please visit

Please visit our doctors page for summaries of the basic/translational and clinical research being conducted by our clinicians.