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Learn more about obtaining tissue from the San Diego Eye Bank®.

Providing ocular tissue services to ophthalmologists around the world.

The History of the San Diego Eye Bank®

The San Diego Eye Bank® was established in 1960 by a group of community ophthalmologist lead by Dr. Martin Koke. One year later, Dr. Koke performed the first corneal transplant surgery in San Diego at the Naval Medical Center. Dr. Koke's vision was not only to obtain and provide corneas through eye tissue donations at the San Diego Eye Bank®, but also to establish an eye center which would provide private ophthalmology practitioners with the diagnostic equipment needed to evaluate and treat patients with a variety of eye conditions.

Mercy Hospital agreed to provide the necessary space for the eye center. As the San Diego Eye Bank® continued to expand, the Board of Directors identified a need for increased awareness about eye and cornea donations within the medical community and general public. They also recognized a need to provide local ophthalmologist with educational opportunities in the latest advancements in ocular treatment and surgical technique. An education department was established to provide ophthalmologists and healthcare professionals with continuing medical education. To this day, the San Diego Eye Bank continues to provide educational opportunities for these professionals, as well as the general public.

In 1994 the San Diego Eye Bank® assumed the International Cornea Project®. The project was originally formed in 1984 as a way to send viable transplantable corneal tissue to ophthalmologists around the world to help restore sight. In response to this need, the International Cornea Project® collects and distributes over a thousand corneas each year. This project is supported by many eye banks, which regularly make corneas available to the ICP. Since its inceptions, over 37,000 people around the world have benefited from this humanitarian project.

In 1996 the San Diego Eye Bank® Refractive Laser Center was established as an open access center, and has served over eight physicians and been involved in over 24,000 procedures. The center was a training site for physician certification for over two years, certifying hundred of ophthalmologists across the United States.

San Diego Eye Bank® Refractive Laser Center technicians are certified on the VISX S4 IR™ excimer laser, the IntraLase™ FS laser, WaveScan® technology, Pentacam, and Confocal.

With the development of lamellar keratoplasty, the San Diego Eye Bank® started processing corneal tissue with the Moria® Microkeratome for surgeons in May 2006. In 2008, corneas were being processed with the IntraLase™ FS laser according to the physician’s specification.

In October 2006, the San Diego Eye Bank® Family Service Department was implemented to work closely with hospitals, hospices, and their families, to provide the opportunity for donation and the make the process as streamlined as possible for all involved.

The San Diego Eye Bank® has expanded its original vision and now consists of a number of departments offering a wide range of services. In addition to the recovery of corneas and eyes for transplant surgery, research, and education, we also facilitate the International Cornea Project®, operate an open access refractive center for ophthalmologists and their patients, and provide educational opportunities for physicians and other healthcare professionals.

Contact the San Diego Eye Bank®

We would like to thank those who have provided donations, our donor families, healthcare professionals, and medical facilities for contributing to the success of our mission to increase cornea and eye donations and donation awareness. If you would like to learn more about our non-profit corporation and the services we provide, contact the San Diego Eye Bank®.

The state-of-the-art San Diego Eye Bank® Excimer Laser Center is a community resource for both patients and physicians. Since it opened in 1996, thousands of patients have benefited from laser vision correction surgery at the facility.

At the San Diego Eye Bank®, we are dedicated to providing medical education programs that feature internationally known speakers and the latest issues surrounding ocular tissue collection, distribution, and processing.

To obtain ocular tissue, or to make arrangements to provide the Gift of Sight to individuals with corneal blindness by donating eye tissue, contact the San Diego Eye Bank today. 

San Diego Eye Bank®
9246 Lightwave Ave., Suite 120
San Diego, CA 92123

Toll Free: 800-EYE-BANK
Local: 858-694-0400
International: 00-1-858-694-0400
Fax: 858-565-7368

An organization for United Sight.
Serving the unserved.