UPMC Physician Resources

Ophthalmology Our Program

UPMC Ophthalmology

The UPMC Eye Center is a recognized leader in the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases and disorders. Rated among the top 10 ophthalmology programs in the nation by Ophthalmology Times, the UPMC Eye Center sees more than 50,000 patients annually.

UPMC physicians are experts in treating common eye ailments as well as complex ocular disorders such as:

  • age-related macular degeneration
  • diabetic retinopathy
  • retinal detachment 
  • uveitis

Advanced Diagnostics and Treatment

The Eye Center provides state-of-the-art testing, including electrophysiology and psychophysics services, to diagnose eye, retinal, and optic nerve disorders.

Testing modalities include:

  • electroculogram (EOG)
  • electroretinogram
  • spectral optical coherence tomography (sOCT)
  • visual evoked potential (VEP)

Cutting-edge Surgical Treatment

Physicians at the UPMC Eye Center perform advanced surgical procedures to treat all ocular disorders, including:

  • canaloplasty to treat glaucoma
  • LASIK and LASEK, epi LASIK, photorefractive keratectomy and radial keratotomy, and intraocular lens surgeries for myopia
  • orbital and oculoplastic surgery, using endoscopic and open surgical techniques, for disorders of the eyelids, eye sockets, or tear ducts
  • strabismus surgery to align eyeballs
  • vitrectomy to treat macular holes
  • vitrectomy and scleral buckle to fix detached retina

Our Research

Our research groups are international leaders in understanding the causes of and developing potential cures for many types of eye diseases.

The Louis J. Fox Center for Vision Restoration is the world’s first comprehensive program dedicated to ocular regenerative medicine. 

Researchers at the Fox Center and the University of Pittsburgh developed innovative solutions such as:

  • bioengineering of ocular tissue
  • cameras that bypass the eye and send visual information to the brain
  • laser-based treatments
  • new vaccination approaches
  • novel drugs or drug delivery systems

In partnership with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, UPMC ophthalmologists and investigators receive substantial funding from the National Eye Institute, which has translated key discoveries into clinical breakthroughs, such as spectral optical coherence tomography (sOCT) and biosynthesis of corneal tissue. 

Discovery Health Video Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery

Glaucoma surgery now offers less risk, with the advent of minimally invasive procedures that use natural pathways in the eye to relieve ocular pressure.

The most common and most effective minimally invasive procedures for patients diagnosed with early to moderate glaucoma include:

  • ab interno trabeculectomy (AIT)
  • canaloplasty
  • the glaucoma stent

Joel Schuman, MD, director of the UPMC Eye Center and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, discusses these minimally invasive options. Dr. Schuman is one of the inventors of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and was among the first surgeons nationally to incorporate minimally invasive glaucoma surgery into his practice.

Featured  Program: Canaloplasty Glaucoma Treatment

Similar to trabeculectomy, canaloplasty is a minimally invasive procedure in which the surgeon dissects down to Schlemm’s canal and places a stent in the eye to drain the fluid. This procedure offers adequate pressure control and is sometimes referred to as angioplasty for the eye.