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A whirlwind start to 2024 for VEI doctors


Our doctors have been busy sharing their expertise and connecting with colleagues at home and abroad! Here’s a peek at some of their events.

Focus Cataract and Refractive Symposium, Sydney (April 2024)

A/Prof Michael Lawless commenced the session with an engaging presentation, ‘The now and the near future for cataract surgery and what to do with AI.’ He took the stage again to discuss intraocular lens (IOL) selection before participating in a panel for the launch of a new lens, the Clareon Vivity.

Other Vision Eye Institute doctors at the symposium included Dr Alex Tan (a panellist alongside A/Prof Lawless), Dr Michael Wei and Dr Raj Pathmaraj.

APAO Congress 2024, Bali (March 2024)

The Friday lunchtime symposium, Extended Depth of Focus (EDOF) intraocular lenses, featured A/Prof Tim Roberts, who discussed current EDOF lens technologies and the next-generation EDOF lens – the Johnson & Johnson MedTech’s TECNIS PureSee IOL.

Dr Jason Cheng presented on iTrack, a form of minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS). He also started his new role as Secretary of the Gateway Standing Committee, aimed at preventing blindness in the region through international collaboration.

SHARED VISION National Webinar 1, Online (March 2024)

Our first webinar for 2024 attracted over 900 optometrists to hear Dr Alex Ioannidis, Dr Lewis Levitz and A/Prof Michael Lawless discuss cutting-edge technologies and treatment approaches that pave the way for more precise diagnosis, treatment and patient care.

Dr Ioannidis presented ‘AI and ophthalmology: Future challenges in assessing the cataract patient,’ A/Prof Lawless presented ‘The now and the near future for cataract, corneal refractive, and what do we do with AI?’ and Dr Levitz presented ‘Medical imaging: Exploring the link between radiation exposure and eye disease.’ A moderated panel discussion followed the three presentations.

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) Victorian Branch Meeting, Melbourne (March 2024)

Dr Joe Reich was an invited guest at the RANZCO meeting held at the Park Hyatt Hotel, where he represented cataract surgeons during a panel discussion.

During the session, he answered various questions from other ophthalmologists about managing challenging cases – specifically with regard to surgical management of age-related long-sightedness (presbyopia). Having implanted well over a thousand multifocal lenses, Dr Reich was able to offer advice on identifying patients who would be suitable for surgical treatment, as well as surgical tips and advice for managing patients following surgery.

Dr Raj Pathmaraj presented a poster on visual loss due to macular disease in a patient who had taken Viagra.

Dr Lewis Levitz presented a case study describing how an unusual foreign body in a patient’s eye was identified during cataract surgery and how it was managed.

Other Vision Eye Institute attendees included Dr Christolyn Raj and Prof Rasik Vajpayee.

American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting, San Francisco (Dec 2023)

Prof Rasik Vajpayee jetted to San Francisco for the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, where he conducted two instructional courses on innovative techniques for corneal transplantation and pterygium treatment.

He also delivered a series of lectures on various types of corneal surgery, including a surgical technique he invented.

Keracon: Annual Conference of the Cornea Society of India (Dec 2023)

Prof Vajpayee also travelled to Chandigarh in India to present lectures on corneal surgery at the Annual Conference of the Cornea Society of India (‘Keracon’) 2023. While he was there, he was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his academic and clinical contributions to ophthalmology, as well as an Honorary CSI Membership. Congratulations on this incredible achievement, Prof Vajpayee!


Featured doctors

A/Prof Michael Lawless

A/Prof Michael Lawless dressed in a suit standing in front of a building and garden
A/Prof Michael Lawless is one of Australia’s most experienced eye surgeons, having performed more than 30,000 surgical procedures. He is a Clinical Associate Professor at Sydney Medical School (University of Sydney) and is recognised throughout the world as an authority on laser eye surgery. A/Prof Lawless’ refractive expertise encompasses LASIK, ASLA/PRK and SMILE®. He is frequently invited to present at major international conferences. In early 2022, A/Prof Lawless was the first ophthalmologist in Australia and New Zealand to perform SMILE Pro and one of the first in the world to perform LASIK using the Zeiss Visumax 800 laser system. He practises at Vision Eye Institute’s Bondi Junction, Chatswood and Hurstville clinics.

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Dr Michael Wei

Dr Michael Wei headshot
Dr Michael Wei is a highly experienced ophthalmologist specialising in retinal and macular disorders. He has extensive experience in the management of difficult and complex vitreoretinal conditions, and in all forms of retinal laser treatment and intravitreal injections. He practises at Vision Eye Institute’s clinic in Bondi Junction.

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Dr Alexander Tan

Head shot (shoulders upwards) of Dr Alexander Tan, a young man wearing black-famed glasses, a black suit jacket and collared, blue/purple shirt (with top button undone)Dr Alexander Tan is a highly-skilled, comprehensive general ophthalmologist. He has significant expertise in the field of cataract surgery and has successfully performed over 4,000 cataract procedures. Dr Tan has a special interest in managing glaucoma and medical retinal disease, including macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease. He practises at Vision Eye Institute’s clinic in Boronia.

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Dr Raj Pathmaraj

Dr Raj P Pathmaraj dressed in a suit no tie standing in front of a beige wallDr Raj Pathmaraj is a comprehensive ophthalmologist with significant experience treating a broad range of ophthalmic conditions, including dry eye, red eye and ocular surface diseases. He is an expert in cataract and refractive surgery and offers his patients laser cataract surgery. Dr Pathmaraj also specialises in glaucoma and other optic nerve diseases, with expertise in laser surgery for glaucoma. He practises at Vision Eye Institute’s clinic in Blackburn South.

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A/Prof Tim Roberts

A/Prof Tim RobertsA/Prof Tim Roberts is a highly regarded cataract and glaucoma surgeon. He is Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Sydney and Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at the Royal North Shore Hospital. He practises at Vision Eye Institute’s clinic in Chatswood.

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Dr Jason Cheng

Dr Jason Cheng is a glaucoma specialist, having completed two glaucoma subspecialty fellowships, and is actively involved in research projects in this area. Dr Cheng is also a highly experienced cataract surgeon. He practises at Vision Eye Institute’s clinic in Hurstville.

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Dr Alex Ioannidis

Dr Alex Ioannidis dressed in a suit and tie outside in front of a ivy covered wallDr Alex Ioannidis is a highly experienced ophthalmic surgeon with over 20 years of experience performing small incision cataract surgery. He offers both conventional and laser-assisted cataract surgery (FLACS) and has expertise in modern intraocular lens (IOL) technology to optimise visual outcomes post-cataract surgery.

Dr Ioannidis treats complex cataract cases such as those seen in patients with coexisting eye diseases, including glaucoma and macular degeneration. He also offers cataract surgery combined with other surgical procedures, such as those for glaucoma and anterior segment diseases (disorders of the front part of the eye).

He practises at Vision Eye Institute’s Blackburn South, Camberwell and Coburg clinics.

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Dr Lewis Levitz

Dr Lewis Levitz dressed in a suit and tie standing in front of a wall of palm treesDr Lewis Levitz is a highly experienced ophthalmic surgeon with a special interest in conventional and laser cataract surgery. Dr Levitz also has a special interest in reconstructive eyelid surgery. He is the National Medical Director at Vision Eye Institute. He practises at Vision Eye Institute’s Blackburn South, Camberwell and Coburg clinics.

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Dr Joe Reich AM

Dr Joe Reich dressed in a suit no tie standing in front of a green louvred wallDr Joe Reich AM is a highly experienced cataract and refractive surgeon. Dr Reich specialises in LASIK, ASLA/PRK, cataract surgery and refractive lens exchange and has extensive experience with multifocal and toric lenses. Dr Reich performs complex cataract surgery on patients with co-occurring eye diseases, such as keratoconus, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. He practises at Vision Eye Institute’s Camberwell and Melbourne (St Kilda Road) clinics.

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Dr Christolyn Raj

Dr Christolyn Raj dressed in an animal print dress standing outside a building with mirrored windowsDr Christolyn Raj is a versatile and highly experienced cataract surgeon and key figure in the field of retinal medicine. Her subspecialty training is in the areas of retinal disease, cataract and anterior segment, and paediatrics. Dr Raj has a strong interest in education and research. She practises at Vision Eye Institute’s Camberwell, Coburg and Blackburn South clinics.

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Prof Rasik Vajpayee

Prof Rasik Vajpayee dressed in a suit and tie standing outside an office windowProfessor Rasik Vajpayee is a highly respected ophthalmologist who has previously served as Head of Cornea and Cataract Surgery at the University of Melbourne. His significant expertise as a cataract, corneal and refractive surgeon includes laser cataract surgery, complex cataract surgery, keratoconus, Fuchs’ dystrophy, pterygium, corneal transplantations and laser eye surgery for vision correction. He practises at Vision Eye Institute’s Melbourne (St Kilda Rd), Blackburn South, Camberwell and Coburg clinics.

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The information on this page is general in nature. All medical and surgical procedures have potential benefits and risks. Consult your ophthalmologist for specific medical advice.

Date last reviewed: 2024-05-13 | Date for next review: 2026-05-13

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