Early in his career in Saint Louis, Missouri, Dr. Assil served as the Medical Director of the Mid-America eye and tissue bank. During that time, he had already become one of the most active corneal transplant surgeons in the United States, receiving complex referrals from a six State area.
After moving to Los Angeles in 1995, Dr. Assil created the cornea division at the long established Sinskey Eye Institute as its new Medical Director and CEO and to this day, continues to be a leader in the field of corneal surgery.
Scratched Cornea Symptoms and Treatment
The cornea is the outermost, transparent part of the eye protected only by the eyelids and is made up of several different layers. Unlike any other part of the body, if scratched, the cornea can heal within 24 hours in most cases.
Symptoms of a scratched cornea are; pain, swelling, redness and sometimes discharge from the eye and in some severe cases, loss of vision. Some scratches by animals or plants will require stronger antibiotics to avoid long term complications or visual loss from scarring. If you experience a scratch on your cornea, you should contact our office immediately. At Assil Eye Institute, our doctors are “on-call” 24/7 for just such emergencies and can be contacted at our main office number 310-651-2300.
The eye doctors at the Assil Eye Institute pay special attention to matters related to the cornea. Our practice offers a wide variety of diagnostic tools and treatment options designed to treat many cornea and dry-eye-related problems.
If you have burning, tired eyes, redness, sudden tearing, fluctuating vision and a frequent need to blink, chances are that you have Dry Eye Syndrome; the most common reason people visit the eye doctor. 30 Million Americans suffer with symptoms of Dry-Eye Syndrome including redness, burning and blurry vision.
If you’re looking forward to freedom from dry, burning eyes and difficult to explain blurry vision contact the Assil Eye Institute today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 310.651.2300 to make your appointment for a comprehensive eye examination with Dr. Assil and be one step closer to dry eye relief!
Dry Eye is caused by a lack of tears on the surface of the eye. Your tears are made up of a combination of oil and water and they provide nutrition, lubrication and immune protection for your eyes. Proper lubrication is needed for a smooth ocular surface, without which clear vision is not possible. When you don’t have enough tears, your eyes become irritated and that starts a cycle of inflammation that may even lead to infection, with permanent damage to the eye. The two largest components of tears are oil and water. It’s well known that “oil and water don’t mix.” This plays out well in the case of normal tears, as the oil layer floats on top of the water layer, retarding its evaporation. If the oil layer production is deficient, the water layer can evaporate 20x faster! This is indeed the number one reason for dry eyes.
Dr. Kerry Assil at the Assil Eye Institute offer a combined treatment approach that utilizes the latest insights into proper pharmacologic tear restoration, coupled with DELIT (Dry Eye Light Impulse Therapy) a revolutionary treatment that dramatically improves the symptoms of Dry Eye. DELIT rejuvenates the inflamed and dormant glands that produce the oil component of tears through the combined application of Intense Pulsed Light to the lower eyelids and facial skin, coupled with microscopic expression of the old “plugged up oil” from the glands.
Dr. Kerry Assil was the first doctor west of the Mississippi to offer DELIT, a new, safe, effective, non-invasive and non-surgical treatment for Dry Eyes. The DELIT procedure was developed by Dr. Rolando Toyos, (formerly at the Assil Eye Institute).
Helping patients achieve major improvement in eye comfort and the quality of their tears is the goal of Dr. Assil. Typically this requires 4 DELIT treatments spaced one month apart, with most patients requiring a maintenance treatment once or twice a year.
A DELIT treatment takes 5 to 10 minutes and doesn’t hurt. Some patients may see improvement of their Dry Eye following the first treatment, with most enjoying improvement following several sessions. Because of the nature of the DELIT treatment, patients may also notice improvement of their facial skin complexion and texture (imagine that)!
I-Brite®, is a surgical eye whitening procedure that was developed in Korea by Dr. Bong- Hyung Kim. This procedure isnot offered at the Assil Eye Institute because Dr. Assil believes it is neither a safe nor effective way to treat dry, red eyes because it does not address the underlying cause of the conditions. Additionally, IBrite is actually invasive surgery that can cause potentially serious,sight-threatening problems.
Dr. Assil prefers to treat the source of dry eye syndrome and red eyes with a non-invasive treatment known as DELIT (Dry Eye Light Intensive Therapy). DELIT is a revolutionary procedure that rejuvenates the inflamed and dormant glands (meibomian glands) that produce the oil component of tears. DELIT works by applying Intense Pulse Light (IPL) to the lower eyelids. Once the quality of tears is restored, and the dryness is resolved, the redness is clears up and patients find themselves using artificial tears less and less frequently.
Corneal transplantation at the Assil Eye Institute is a labor of love. Dr. Assil has provided this gift of sight with less dependence on eyeglasses or contact lenses to people whom for years struggled with little or no vision. The Assil Eye Institute provides state-of-the-art technology in corneal transplantation, including post-transplant corneal laser sculpting (LASIK) if needed for further vision enhancement.
The cornea is the clear window over the front of the eye and serves as the eye’s most powerful focusing lens. Two thirds of the eye’s ability to focus light resides within the cornea. The cornea is the only transparent tissue in the body, so light is able to freely enter the eye. Damage to the cornea can cause a loss of transparency and may result in the need for a corneal transplant.
Dr. Assil initially launched his leadership role in eye surgery as a corneal transplant surgeon while serving on the university faculty in St. Louis with one of the largest corneal transplant practices in the United States.
Dr. Assil served as the medical director of the Mid-America Eye and Tissue Bank while he was a professor in St. Louis. During his tenure, his service performed 200 corneal transplants each year; the largest number in the Midwestern United States.
Dr. Assil performs state-of-the-art corneal transplantation, employing PKP, DSEK, and IEK methods of surgery.
At the time of examination, Dr. Assil will determine which patients requiring corneal transplantation are likely to most benefit from PKP, DSEK, OR IEK.
As Medical Director of the Assil Eye Institute, Dr. Assil has taken corneal transplantation a step further. Dr. Assil offers LASIK for those patients who wish to improve their vision after they have undergone corneal transplant surgery.
Corneal transplantation is the preferred treatment for patients with stretching of the cornea, or other severe corneal diseases.
The Assil Eye Institute surgeons operate at the state-of-the-art 90210 Surgery Medical Center that is just three floors above our Beverly Hills clinic. Our patients have peace of mind knowing they don’t have to go to an outside surgery center, and that their procedure will be performed at a center which specializes in microsurgical procedures and was founded by Dr. Assil. The 90210 Surgery Medical Center is fully credentialed and provides the highest level of care a patient can receive outside a hospital. The pre-and-post-op area is bright and comfortable with professional, compassionate nursing care.
IntraLase Enabled Keratoplasty (IEK) is a revolutionary way of performing corneal transplant surgery. IEK brings together refractive surgery and corneal transplant surgery, making exceptional results more accessible than ever before.
The IEK procedure is different than conventional cornea transplant surgery because of the use of the IntraLase Excimer laser.
IEK is a breakthrough technology because the donor and recipient are prepared in a similar fashion with the precise IntraLase Laser, so the donor corneas fit almost perfectly into the recipient’s eye. The higher accuracy of fitting lowers the chances of astigmatism and increases the chances of quicker recovery.
(Descemets Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty) – DSEK removes the diseased innermost corneal membrane that is then replaced by a healthy donor transplant. DSEK is state of the art and offers several benefits over other methods of corneal transplants.
Because the procedure is less invasive, DSEK leaves the eye stronger and less prone to injury than full-thickness transplants. Additionally, DSEK has a more rapid rate of visual recovery. Vision is typically restored in a matter of weeks rather than over many months.
PK (Penetrating Keratoplasty) – Many of Dr. Assil’s patients undergoing corneal transplantation are treated with PK, or Penetrating Keratoplasty. In PK, the entire thickness of the central cornea is replaced with a portion of a cornea from a donor eye.
Initially, your vision will be blurry and the site of your corneal transplant may be swollen and slightly thicker than the rest of your cornea. As your vision improves, you will gradually be able to return to your normal daily activities.
Patients who have undergone PK generally require several months for full recovery.
Dr. Assil will determine which patients requiring corneal transplantation are likely to benefit most from PK, DSEK,or IEK.
Keratoconus literally means cone-shaped cornea (American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2011) characterized by an irregular corneal surface (cone-shaped) resulting in blurred and distorted images.
The cornea is the window and outer surface of the eye. When you are interpreting an image light travels through the cornea past the lens to the retina and then the brain to form a visual image. The normal corneal surface is smooth and aspheric and flattens towards the edges. Light rays passing through it moves in an undistorted manner to the retina to project a clear image to the brain. This is the typical normal working cornea.
Keratoconus is a very slow progressive eye condition that affects the cornea. The normally round, dome-shaped cornea weakens and thins, causing a cone-like bulge to develop. The regular curvature of the cornea becomes irregular, resulting in increasing nearsightedness (myopia) and astigmatism that have to be corrected with special glasses or contact lenses. Since the cornea is responsible for refracting most of the light coming into the eye, corneal abnormalities can result in significant visual impairment, making simple tasks like driving or reading books.
A Solution for treating Keratoconus is the Intacs procedure – Intacs are implantable intracorneal ring segments (also known as ICRS). This is a procedure which may be helpful for patients with keratoconus or corneal optical irregularities such as ectasia after other surgeries. Intacs were originally FDA-approved, in some situations, to correct low degrees of nearsightedness. In 2004, Intacs were approved by the FDA for the treatment of keratoconus. Results of Intacs for keratoconus treatment have been encouraging, especially in patients unable to tolerate contact lenses or in need of a corneal transplant.
Intacs are two small crescents of a contact lens-like material (PMMA). Unlike procedures such as LASIK, Intacs are implanted into the outer edge of the cornea so that the center of the cornea remains untouched. The insertion of Intacs causes the cornea to generally flatten. In addition, Intacs tend to decrease the irregular astigmatism found in keratoconus Intacs can be safely removed if necessary. In such cases, the cornea will generally return to its preoperative condition.
A PTERYGIUM (ter-idg-ee-um) is a wedge-shaped growth of thickened tissue that covers a portion of the white part of the eye. It usually starts growing near the inside corner of the eye and can extend onto the cornea, towards the pupil. Pterygiums are non-cancerous and slow growing, but they can cause annoying symptoms and in severe cases, a Pterygium can blur or even block a patient’s vision.
Pterygium are the result of ultraviolet damage caused by the sun. It is most frequently seen in people with a great deal of outdoor exposure to sunlight and wind without proper eye protection while the primary symptom of Pterygium is a painless area of white tissue with blood vessels on the inner and/or outer edge of the cornea. Some patients say they feel as if they have a foreign body in their eye and that their eyes are constantly red and irritated
Dr. Assil uses No-Stitch Pterygium/Amino Graft Surgery to remove Pterygiums. Using this surgical technique, combined with special medication, the rate of recurrence is dramatically reduced. The procedure takes about 30 minutes to complete, and most patients are able to return to normal activities within one or two days of surgery.
Iris Repair and Reconstruction – Dr. Kerry Assil is on the leading edge of Iris Replacement Surgery for his patients who are either born without irises (Aniridia) or who have suffered traumatic damage to the iris. The iris is the colored part of the eye. It plays a critical role in the overall health of the eye because it regulates how much light enters the eye. Tiny muscles attached to the iris cause the pupil to contract and dilate, depending on how much light is available. When it is very bright outdoors, the pupil contracts, with the iris protecting the eye from too much light. In low light situations, the pupils dilate, allowing as much available light possible to enter the eye, making it easier to see.
Iris Replacement Surgery as practiced by Dr. Assil is not a cosmetic procedure to change the color of one’s eyes. Dr. Assil does not endorse, nor practice surgery to implant artificial lenses designed solely for the cosmetic purposes of changing eye color. He says that type of cosmetic surgery which requires a very large implant on top of the existing iris is dangerous and extremely vision threatening.
Aniridia is a rare congenital condition characterized by the incomplete or lack of formation of the eye’s iris. The word Aniridia means”without iris.” The condition usually occurs in both eyes, and can occur in varying degrees. Aniridia is also often associated with poor development of the retina at the back of the eye, preventing vision from developing normally. Aniridia does not always cause lack of vision, but usually leads to a number of complications with the eye, including early cataracts, corneal disease and glaucoma.
When the iris is damaged as a result of trauma, there can be serious effects on eyesight. A direct blow to the eye can cause damage to the iris. This can be anything from a sharp object penetrating the cornea to a hard impact. A tear can result in this iris rendering it unable to function properly.
Dr. Assil can perform Iris Repair on a damaged iris, often closely matching the undamaged eye.
Why Choose Us
With almost thirty years of experience, Dr. Assil is on the forefront of helping patients with many types of corneal disease
In his distinguished career, Dr. Assil has performed more than 1,000 successful cornea transplants in Los Angeles
Assil Eye institute offers more choices for treatment of corneal diseases
The first center west of the Mississippi to offer DELIT dry eye therapy
Assil eye Institute takes the “improved lifestyle” approach to treating corneas, both surgically and nonsurgically
What Client’s Say
I wasn’t as concerned as much about the cost as I was about the degree of comfort I had knowing I was being treated by the best of the best.
He was very alert, present and personable. As a naturally nervous person, I felt very comfortable with him through all the tests he ran on my eyes.
I could not be happier!!!! Thanks Dr. Assil!!! Y’all ROCK!!!!!!