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The Hamilton Regional Eye Institute

About the Department

The Hamilton Regional Eye Institute (HREI) is the region’s clinical and academic leader for eye care. The Institute has two campuses: St. Joseph’s Hospital King Campus (Adult Ophthalmology) and McMaster University Medical Centre (Pediatric Ophthalmology). The Institute serves more than 2 million residents throughout South Central Ontario including the greater Hamilton area, Niagara and Brantford. In addition, St. Joseph’s provides emergency eye medicine for Hamilton, Dunnville, and Grimsby hospitals.

Performing more than 7,000 surgical procedures each year, including: corneal transplant, cataract, vitreoretinal, oculo-plastic and glaucoma surgery, as well as over 80,000 outpatient visits, the Hamilton Regional Eye Institute’s services are aimed at improving the vision of the residents we serve. We have expertise in medical and surgical care of the following eye specialties:

  • Pediatric Ophthalmology
  • Neuro-Ophthalmology
  • Glaucoma
  • Retinal Care
  • Cataract
  • Cornea
  • Oculoplastics

About the Chief – Dr. Varun Chaudhary

Dr. Chaudhary is a vitreo-retinal surgeon at Hamilton Regional Eye Institute, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and Associate Professor of Surgery at McMaster University. He is the Chief of Ophthalmology at Hamilton Regional Eye Institute as well as Physician Lead for Ophthalmology for HNHB LHIN. He is a clinical expert advisor and is actively involved in provincial working groups developing best practice guidelines for retinal and corneal diseases.

He specializes in providing care for patients with Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy and surgical retinal diseases (including retinal detachment repair, macular hole repair and managing complications of diabetic eye disease and age-related macular degeneration).

Dr. Chaudhary is actively involved in clinical research to deliver the highest quality of care to patients with retinal disease. He has been principal/chief investigator for multi-centered clinical trials in Age-Related Macular Degeneration. He has been principal/chief investigator for clinical studies for novel treatments and therapies such as combination treatment to optimize outcomes in Age-Related Macular Degeneration. He has been awarded the Honor Award by the American Society of Retinal Specialists for his research work in the area of retinal diseases.

Chief Assistant

Grace Schiavo, 905-573-7777 ext. 38052

Uncovering Tomorrow’s Treatments – Today

The HREI has developed an Eye Research Unit to help advance groundbreaking eye medicine research and its related surgery research at St. Joe’s. Researchers at the HREI help make up the cutting-edge team that has made St. Joe’s one of Canada’s Top 40 Research Hospitals for five years running. The goals of the Eye Research Unit are:

  • Support and consolidate ongoing clinical research in eye medicine and surgery
  • Act as the primary hub for public health and epidemiology as it pertains to eye care delivery
  • Act as a hub for translational research and collaboration between basic scientists and clinicians

Our Eye Research Unit’s current priorities include projects aiming to improve care and treatment for retinal disease, glaucoma disease, and assessing patient outcomes following cataract surgery. In fact, St. Joe’s is one of the only Hospitals in Canada measuring patients’ eye function following cataract surgery. Ultimately, each research project is striving to discover new and improved ways of diagnosing, treating, and caring for ophthalmology patients here in South Central Ontario, and around the world.

Did You Know…

  • More than 500,000 Canadians are living with significant vision loss that impairs their quality of life
  • Every year, more than 50,000 Canadians will lose their sight
  • 75% of vision loss can be treated or prevented
  • Diabetic Retinopathy is the most common cause of legal blindness in adults aged 18-65 and the leading cause of visual impairment in Canada