Vanderbilt Eye Institute / Adult Eye Care / Cornea and External Diseases

Cornea and External Diseases

The Vanderbilt Eye Institute offers high-quality, compassionate care to people with any type of disorder of the cornea. We treat a wide range of conditions that involve the surface of the eye, including the cornea, conjunctiva and lens.

Cornea and External Diseases: Why Choose Vanderbilt

  • Advanced technology and treatment. You’ll get the most-advanced treatment because our ophthalmologists are fellowship-trained and use the latest techniques and technology to successfully treat corneal diseases. For instance, our team offers the most-advanced type of corneal transplants and now uses a new non-invasive method called collagen corneal crosslinking for the treatment of keratoconus. This strengthens a misshaped cornea and can prevent the need for a transplant.
  • Team approach. Our team works closely with other specialists (retina, glaucoma and oculoplastics) to make sure all your needs are met. Additionally, our cornea experts collaborate with rheumatologists to help patients whose vision may be affected by their autoimmune conditions like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Clinical trials. We are dedicated to finding new and better treatments for corneal and other related disorders. We offer access to clinical trials that are investigating promising new treatments for disorders such as ocular graft-versus-host disease, shingles in the eyes, corneal anesthesia and other conditions.

Conditions We Treat

  • Keratoconus and other degenerative corneal diseases
  • Corneal dystrophies, including Fuchs’ corneal dystrophy
  • Blepharitis and dry eyes
  • Conjunctival and corneal tumors and lesions
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Corneal infections and ulcers
  • Pterygium
  • Corneal scars
  • Corneal trauma

Tests, Treatments and Services

  • Anterior segment optical coherence tomography (OCT)
  • Corneal surface measurements with Pentacam
  • Examination of all corneal layers with the confocal microscope
  • Amniotic membrane transplants
  • Full-thickness corneal transplants (alone or in combination with cataract surgery)
  • Partial thickness corneal transplants (DSEK and DMEK)
  • Keratoprosthesis (artificial cornea)
  • Pterygium excision with amniotic membrane graft
  • Collagen cross-linking for keratoconus
  • Punctal plugs and permanent punctal closure for dry eyes


Vanderbilt Eye Institute
2311 Pierce Ave. 
Nashville, TN 37232

For Referring Physicians

To refer a patient to the Cornea and External Diseases team, call the Cornea Hotline at (615) 936-2100.