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We treat children with eye and vision problems.
Our programs

Our programs

The Ophthalmology Department at BC Children's Hospital has one of the busiest outpatient clinics in the hospital, with over 13,000 patient visits per year. Our department has multiple programs including ophthalmology, orthoptics, and the Electrophysiology Lab. We also work in association with the Visual Impairment Program. Ophthalmologists refer to the orthoptics, electrophysiology and low vision services based on assessed patient needs.

We treat children with problems including, but not limited to:

  • general vision problems
  • congenital (at birth) eye abnormalities and deformities (cataracts, glaucoma, malformed eyes/eyelids, blocked tear ducts)
  • amblyopia
  • eye muscle problems (strabismus)
  • inherited eye disease
  • complex eye problems relating to other diseases (neurologic, metabolic, endocrine etc)
  • low vision problems
  • eye cancers
  • eye injuries

We also see adult patients with strabismus.

The word Orthoptics comes from Greek words: ortho meaning straight, and optikas meaning vision.

This clinic sees both children and adults with eye problems related to:

  • Eye alignment and eye movement (strabismus)
  • Amblyopia
  • Double vision (diplopia)
  • How the eyes work together (binocular vision)

About the tests

Visual electrophysiology or electrodiagnostic tests (EDTs) are objective tests of retinal and visual pathway function.

You might be referred to this clinic to:

  • Help the ophthalmologist diagnose the cause of your visual problem
  • Monitor disease progression
  • Monitor the effects of any treatment you may be receiving.

We offer tests to children and adults:

  • Electroretinogram (ERG)
  • Electrooculogram (EOG)
  • Visual evoked potential (VEP)
  • Multifocal ERG (MFERG)
  • Dark adaptometry (DA)

What to expect

Electroretinogram (ERG)

This test takes approximately one hour. Prior to the test eye drops will be used for dilation and later local anesthetic drops are used to provide comfort. The drops used during testing temporarily increase the sensitivity to sunlight and cause vision to blur slightly. These effects will last for several hours after testing, therefore we recommend that you bring a pair of sunglasses and have someone available to drive you home afterwards.

Electrooculogram (EOG)

This test takes approximately one hour to perform. No drops are used during testing.

Visual evoked potential (VEP)

This test takes approximately one hour to perform. No drops are used during testing. Please remember to bring your glasses or contact lenses.

Multifocal ERG (MFERG)

A typical MFERG takes about 50 minutes to complete both eyes.

Our team
Our dedicated and highly experienced team of healthcare professionals work diligently to create a safe, compassionate and healing environment for you and your child. 

Contact List Ophthalmology
  • Ophthalmology Reception - 604-875-2040
  • Administrative Coordinator/Supervisor - 604 875 3867
  • Orthoptics/ERG Booking 604 875-2111
  • Ophthalmology Research - 604 875 2345 ext. 7853
  • Physicians wishing to reach the ophthalmologist on call, please call BC Children's Hospital/PHSA Paging at 604 875 2345.
Administrative Staff 
  • Chloe Gregg, administrative supervisor
  • Brenda Jew, registration
  • Natalie Wong, orthoptic & ERG booking
  • Minna Mckenzie , referral management desk
  • Anna Chen, administrative  secretary for Dr. J. Gardiner 
  • Chloe Cormier, registration/booking for Dr. J. Gardiner 
  • Jenelle Merkley, administrative  secretary for Dr. C.J. Lyons 
  • Esther Kim,  registration/booking for Dr. C.J. Lyons
  • Joan Baldos,  administrative  secretary for Dr. C. Mulholland 
  • Teresa Jolicoeur, registration/booking float clerk
Orthoptics Staff 
  • Christy Giligson
  • Grace Harradine
  • Andrea Quan
  • Belva See
  • Debbie Zylich
Ophthalmic Imaging
  • Kajal Dass-Hussain
  • Mathew Kirby
Other Team Members 
Clinical fellows, ophthalmology residents, and medical students.

  • Dr Jane Gardiner, Department Head, 
  • Dr Christopher John Lyons
  • Dr Conor Mulholland 
Offsite Physicians 
  • Dr David Albiani, Retina & Vitreous
  • Dr Maryam Aroichane, Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus, Neuro-Ophthalmology
  • Dr Peter Dolman, Oculoplastics & Orbit
  • Dr Harald Gjerde, Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus
  • Dr Ross Kennedy, Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus
  • Dr Femida Kherani, Oculoplastics & Orbit
  • Dr Ashley Ko, Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus
  • Dr Wai-Ching Lam, Retina & Vitreous
  • Dr Patrick Ma, Retina & Vitreous
  • Dr Zaid Mammo, Retina & Vitreous
  • Dr Katherine Paton, Oncology
  • Dr Megan Rees, Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus
  • Dr David Rossman, Oculoplastics & Orbit
  • Dr Vivian Yin, Oculoplastics & Orbit
Patient information

Preparing for your visit

On your first visit, you will meet with several members of our team, which may include some or all of the following people: Orthoptist, Ophthalmic Imager, Ophthalmology Fellows and Residents, an Ophthalmologist.  Each specialist will meet with you and your child individually to review your child's medical history and perform physical exams.

  • You will receive an automated reminder prior to your appointment. 
  • Please ensure you arrive at least 15 minutes early. 
  • If you are unable to make the appointment, please contact us asap to re-schedule; coming late or not showing up impacts the specialist team and other patients. 

Please note: Visits to our clinic usually last from one to three hours. Please ensure you and your child are adequately prepared to stay for at least two hours (food, drinks, toys, etc.)

Indigenous Health

Indigenous Health advocates for and provide help to Indigenous families who are visiting the hospital. For example, Indigenous Patient Navigators offer in-hospital assistance to improve the quality of health care delivery to Indigenous patients through direct patient support and staff education.

Preparing for surgery

Preparing your child for surgery can help make things run more smoothly. Please see BC Children's Hospital Procedures and Surgical Services for more information. This helpful handout includes the general fasting guidelines.

Learn more: BC Children’s Hospital: Anesthetic Care Unit.


A cataract is a lens opacity that can be congenital (born with it) or acquired. Surgeries vary according to age of presentation. Sometimes it can involve insertion of a replacement lens or intraocular lens, at the same operation. This depends on the age of the patient and the size of the eye. Glasses or a contact lenses are usually required post operatively. It is important to have an early diagnosis to have the best treatment.

For information on how to care for your child after the surgery, please review the Cataract Surgery discharge form. (PDF)

Enucleation is performed in severe trauma or in cancer cases. It consists of removing the eye, which is then replaced with a "ball". Ultimately, after the operation, an artificial eye is made to match the other eye and fitted specifically for the patient's eye socket.

For information on how to care for your child after the surgery, please review the Enucleation Surgery discharge form. (PDF)

When a full examination is not possible with a patient in the clinic setting, an examination of the eyes under anesthesia is arranged. The eyes are dilated before the procedure and a full exam is done with the patient asleep. Sometimes extra tests are done at the same time such as an ultrasound or angiogram (dye test to look at retinal vessels).

For information on how to care for your child after the procedure, please review Examination of Eyes Under Anesthesia. (PDF)

Eyelid surgery is composed of a variety of procedures that include, but are not limited to: lid laceration repair (trauma), ptosis (droopy eyelid), coloboma repair (congenital malformation were the eyelid has a notch) and tarsorrhaphy (to help eyelid closure).

For information on how to care for your child after the surgery, please review the Eyelid Surgery discharge form . (PDF)

Glaucoma valve surgery consists of placing a valve on the surface of the eye and inserting a tube into the eye which will help drainage of fluid from the eye. This helps lower the intraocular pressure and prevent optic nerve damage, once the intraocular pressure is controlled.

For information on how to care for your child after the surgery, please review the Glaucoma valve discharge form. (PDF)

Goniotomy is a type of glaucoma surgery focused on opening up the drainage system of the eye. This helps lower the intraocular pressure and prevent optic nerve damage, once the intraocular pressure is controlled.

For information on how to care for your child after the surgery, please review the Goniotomy discharge form. (PDF)

The retina is a complex tissue lining the back of the eye. It enables us to see by transmitting what we see via electric impulses, which deliver the picture to the brain. Surgery can be performed for retinal detachments, injuries including foreign bodies and vitreous hemorrhages (blood in the cavity of the eye).

For information on how to care for your child after the surgery, please see the following handout:

Strabismus surgery is surgery on the extraocular muscles (muscles surrounding the eye). It consists of moving the muscles (weakening or strengthening) to align the eyes (straighten). In some cases, part of the surgery is done awake/when the patient has awoken from the general anesthetic to adjust the muscles further with local anesthetic.

For information on how to care for your child after the surgery, please review this information:

Strabismus on HealthLink BC

Home Care Instructions After Strabismus Surgery:

AllItems.aspxHome Care Instructions After Strabismus Surgery.pdf

Other patient information

Our dedicated and highly experienced team of health care professionals work diligently to provide a safe, compassionate and healing environment to our patients and their families.

Please note: BC Children's Hospital is a teaching hospital.

Our patients may be seen by a trainee prior to seeing the ophthalmologist. We are grateful to each patient, physician, and staff member for their generous participation and for sharing their knowledge and experience.

See below for two examples of patient journeys.

Your visit

How to prepare for your visit

On the day of your appointment please remember to:

  • Bring your child's Care Card
  • Allow time to find parking.
  • Check in with reception before your appointment time.
  • Bring all glasses worn for distance or reading.
  • Consider bringing a hat or sunglasses to help with light sensitivity caused by dilated pupils.
  • Bring snacks or activities for your child.
  • Allow for up to 3 hours for your appointment

What to expect

During your appointment you may be tested for things such as: visual acuity, eye movements, double vision or have measurements taken of any eye misalignment.

Please help us to stay on schedule and arrive on time. If you are running late or need to cancel your appointment, please call our clinic.

Expect to have someone try to make you smile and feel at ease.

Appointments in our clinic can be lengthy; please come prepared. You may be in our clinic for approximately one to three hours.

  • We are a teaching facility, the doctor is on call & you or your child's eyes may be dilated. Dilating drops can take up to 40 minutes to take affect.
  • Due to the nature of treating a pediatric population, we cannot foresee how long appointments may take.
  • The doctor will take as long as needed with each patient, including you or your child, to ensure everyone has the best care possible.

For all of the above-mentioned reasons, we appreciate your patience and understanding.

Bring snacks and entertainment and please plan accordingly.

If you need to cancel

If you need to cancel your appointment, please contact us as soon as possible (at least 48 hours ahead of time, if you can) so that your appointment time can be used by another patient.

If your child has an infection

If your child has been in contact with any infectious diseases (such as chicken pox or measles) during the three weeks before your appointment, please let us know immediately. We might need to reschedule your appointment.

If you need an interpreter

The Ophthalmology Department has on-demand video interpreter services. Please let Registration know when you arrive if you would like an interpreter.

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