Prof Gerard Sutton Ophthalmologist

Prof Gerard Sutton MBBS MD FRANZCO

Prof Gerard Sutton


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Prof Gerard Sutton is one of Australia’s leading ophthalmic surgeons and is internationally recognised as an expert in cataract surgery, laser vision correction and corneal transplantation. He is a highly experienced eye surgeon, having performed over 25,000 surgical procedures. Prof Sutton has significant expertise in vision correction (e.g. LASIK, ASLA/PRK, SMILE®, refractive lens exchange and implantable lenses) and can offer patients the latest intraocular lens products (including trifocal lenses).

Prof Sutton is a Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Sydney and also established the world’s first university course in refractive (laser eye) surgery. He has published more than 150 scientific papers and been invited to present internationally on over 100 occasions. Prof Sutton has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the XOVA Award for Excellence in Ophthalmology and the Inaugural John Parr Medal.

Watch Prof Sutton explain SMILE laser eye surgery in this video.

Find out more about laser eye surgery in Sydney and New South Wales.

Download a copy of Prof Gerard Sutton’s profile here

Career highlights

Career firsts

  • First Australian surgeon to perform LASIK with the femtosecond laser
  • First Australian surgeon to perform corneal transplantation with the femtosecond laser
  • First Sydney surgeon to perform SMILE®
  • First Australian surgeon to be awarded an MD for a doctoral thesis in laser eye surgery
  • First surgeon to successfully use an artificial cornea in New South Wales
  • First Australian to be appointed to the Board of the Asia Cornea Society
  • First Australian to complete overseas fellowship training in laser vision correction surgery
  • First surgeon to represent Australia in the World Cataract Olympics in 2016 and again in 2018


  • Douglas & Lola Douglas Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology & Eye Health, Sydney University, New South Wales
  • Professor of The University of Sydney, Save Sight Institute, Faculty of Medicine and Health
  • Visiting Professor, the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Victoria
  • Visiting Professor, Eye Institute Auckland, New Zealand
  • Visiting Professor, University of Medicine, Mandalay, Myanmar
  • Established the world's first university degree for refractive vision corrective surgery training
  • Ongoing international guest lecturing commitments

Other professional achievements

  • Chief Medical Officer, iFix Medical Pty Ltd
  • Published the award-winning book 'The Naked Eye', co-written with Clinical Associate Professor Michael Lawless
  • Medical Director, Lions NSW Eye Bank
  • Invited guest lecturer, Asia-Pacific Academy of Cataract & Refractive Surgery (2021)
  • Invited guest lecturer, The Royal Society of Medicine, UK (2021)
  • Invited guest lecturer, The Cornea Society, USA (2020)
  • Invited guest lecturer, World Cornea Congress, San Diego, USA (2015), and World Ophthalmology Congress Conference, Guadalajara, Mexico (2016) and Barcelona, Spain (2018)
  • RANZCO Council Keynote Lecture (2016)
  • Chair of the Australian Commission on Cataract Standards (2017)
  • Chief Ophthalmologist, Sydney 2000 Olympics

Professional memberships

  • Professorial Fellow of the Australian Institute for Innovative Materials
  • Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists
  • Academy of the Asia Pacific Professors of Ophthalmology
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • Asia Cornea Society
  • Fellow of the Academy of Asia-Pacific Professors of Ophthalmology

Community involvement & charitable work

Prof Sutton is the medical director of the Lions NSW Eye Bank, a not-for-profit organisation that recovers, prepares, stores and distributes corneas and sclera in NSW and the ACT. It also supports research into eye disease and is committed to educating healthcare professionals and the community about tissue donation. The Eye Bank works with the Mandalay Eye Hospital in Myanmar, where corneal disease is a leading cause of blindness.

Prof Sutton has been working in Cambodia and Myanmar since 1997. He established a Corneal Surgical and Eye Bank program at Mandalay Eye Hospital, where he is Visiting Professor.

The Naked Eye Book

The Naked Eye (a book by Prof Sutton & A/Prof Lawless)Prof Gerard Sutton and A/Prof Michael Lawless have authored an award-winning book, The Naked Eye, which explains laser eye surgery in simple, easy-to-understand language. Readers will come away with a clear understanding of the surgical options available today that may allow them to see clearly with ‘the naked eye’. This book is the perfect introduction to modern laser eye surgery for anyone considering the alternatives to glasses and contact lenses, regardless of their age, occupation or understanding of science.


  • Professor John C. Parr Medal Lecture Award, RANZCO New Zealand branch (2019)
  • The Big Idea Innovation Award for the Corneal Biopen (2017)
  • Achievement Award, Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (2015)
  • Achievement Award, Lions International (2015)
  • International Excellence in Ophthalmology Award, XOVA (2015)
  • Independent Publishers Award for ‘The Naked Eye’, co-written with Clinical Associate Professor Michael Lawless (2014)

Education & training

  • Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, University of New South Wales
  • Doctor of Medicine, University of Auckland, New Zealand
  • Ophthalmic training, Sydney Eye Hospital, New South Wales
  • Fellowship in laser vision correction surgery, Friedrich Alexander University, Germany and St Thomas' Hospital and Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK
  • Fellowship in refractive surgery, Vision Eye Institute Chatswood, New South Wales

Research & publications

Prof Sutton is an active researcher, with over 100 peer-reviewed publications. He has a strong research interest in corneal bioengineering and is currently involved in the development of the Corneal Biopen to treat corneal conditions. Prof Sutton also undertakes research into clinical advances in cataract and laser eye surgery. He was an International Investigator for the new Vivity Extended Depth of Focus intraocular lens (IOL) in 2020 and was also invited to the Intraocular Implant Club in 2020.

Professor Sutton was an invited lecturer at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) 2019 meeting in Vancouver, Canada. He discussed the advent of a bioengineered cornea. ARVO is regarded as the premier ophthalmology research meeting and the invitation was a reflection of Prof Sutton’s international reputation in ophthalmic surgery.

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