clinics
Skip to main content

Ophthalmology

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 Ophthalomology, 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)
  • Electro-Oculogram (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. 

Electro-Oculogram (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 - 604 875 3867
  • Ophthalmology Research - 604 875 2345 ext. 7853
  • Physicians wishing to reach the ophthalmologist on call, please call BCCH/PHSA Paging at 604 875 2345.
  • Ophthalmology Contact List March 2021revis_.pdf

Contact us

Please leave a message if we are unable to take your call right away. If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please give us 48 hours notice if possible.

Once you have arrived for your appointment and have checked in, you may take a seat and wait to be called. Please arrive 5 minutes early to allow for checking in.



Administrative Staff 




Orthoptics Staff 
  • Christy Giligson, Senior Teaching Orthoptist
  • Andrea Quan, Junior Teaching Orthoptist
  • Vaishali Mehta, Junior Teaching Orthoptist
  • Debbie Zylich, Junior Teaching Orthoptist
  • Grace Harradine, Junior Teaching Orthoptist




Other Team Members 
Clinical Fellows, Ophthalmology Residents, and medical students



Physicians 

Dr. Maryame Aroichane 


Dr. Jane Gardiner, Interim Department Head 


Dr. Christopher Lyons 


Dr. Conor Mulholland 




Patient Information

Preparing for Surgery

Preparing your child for surgery can help make things run more smoothly. Please see BCCH Procedures and Surgical Services for more information. You may also find this handout helpful which includes the general fasting guidelines: Anesthetic Care Unit.pdf

Learn more:
BC Children’s Hospital: Anesthetic Care Unit (Website) 


Procedures

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 see the following handout:


Cataract Surgery discharge form final.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 see the following handout:


Enucleation Surgery discharge form final.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 see the following handout:


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 see the following handout: 


Eyelid Surgery discharge form final.pdf

Glaucoma value 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 see the following handout: 


Glaucoma valve discharge form final.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 see the following handout: 


Goniotomy discharge form final.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: 


Retina Surgery discharge form.pdf

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 see the following handout and link:


Strabusmus Surgery Discharge form.pdf

Strabismus HealthBC Link

This is needed, usually after the age of 12 months, when the nasolacrimal system (tear drainage system) is obstructed. or as a newborn if the child presents with a dacryocele.  It consists in probing, or inserting a metal the nasolacrimal duct to make it permeable.  


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


Tear Duct Surgery discharge form.pdf


Other Patient Information 

Our dedicated and highly experienced team of healthcare 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 been 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 

Note: Temporary family and visitor restrictions due to COVID-19

Outpatient Clinics: ONE adult caregiver/support person
In-Patient Areas: TWO adult caregivers/support people
Emergency Department: ONE adult caregiver/support person


How to Prepare for your Visit

On the day of your appointment please remember to:

  • Bring You 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.

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 Intepreter 

If an interpreter would be helpful for you, please phone us as soon as possible and we will arrange for this.






Tab Heading













SOURCE: Ophthalmology ( )
Page printed: . Unofficial document if printed. Please refer to SOURCE for latest information.

Copyright © BC Children's Hospital. All Rights Reserved.

    Copyright © 2021 Provincial Health Services Authority.