Emmanuel Kai-Lewis, MD with a Patient

Emmanuel Kai-Lewis, MD


Dr. Kai-Lewis is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist who grew up in Washington D.C. before attending Baylor University. He then returned to Washington to go to Medical School at Howard University College of Medicine.

After Medical School, Dr. Kai-Lewis, like his father before him, chose to become an Ophthalmologist and completed his residency at West Virginia University Eye Institute. It was during this professional training program that he learned to become a proficient Cataract Surgeon.

Dr. Kai-Lewis went on to pursue additional training and completed a Cornea Fellowship at the Prestigious University of Minnesota Eye Clinic, becoming an expert in Cornea/External Disease and Refractive Surgery.

After his Corneal Fellowship, Dr. Kai-Lewis moved to Irwin Army Community Hospital in Ft. Riley, Kansas where he provided Cataract Surgery and Corneal Surgery to our Soldiers and their Families. He also provided Cataract and Corneal Surgery to Retired Soldiers and their Families living in the Ft. Riley area.

With the goal of obtaining a great deal of experience in Cornea/External Disease and Refractive Surgery and continuing to develop his skills as a Cataract Surgeon, Dr. Kai-Lewis moved to Sweden (and learned Swedish!) so that he could become one of only three Cornea Surgeons at St. Erik’s Eye Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden.  St. Erik’s Eye Hospital draws patients from all over Western Europe and beyond.  It is considered among the best Eye Hospitals in the World.

This position at St. Erik’s Eye Hospital gave Dr. Kai-Lewis the opportunity to see many patients needing Cornea Surgery, enabling him to develop a Wealth of Cornea Surgical experience.  Further, he was able to participate in leading edge, pioneering research into problems of the Cornea at St. Erik’s Eye Hospital.

With his extensive training and experience completed, Dr. Kai-Lewis and his wife started looking for a place to settle and raise a family.  Fortunately for Quigley Eye Specialists and our Patients, the Kai-Lewis’s chose Southwest, Florida. 



Cornea Specialist

Cornea and External Disease

The sub-specialty of Cornea and External Disease refers to the medical and surgical management of the full range of complex and high-risk corneal and external eye diseases.  The cornea is the clear, dome-like structure on the front of the eye through which we see.  Corneas can be damaged through inflammation, degeneration, allergies, infections, injuries and inherited dystrophies. External disease refers to conditions of the conjunctiva and eyelids that affect the function of the eyes themselves.

What are common corneal and external disease conditions?

The corneal can be affected by a wide range of conditions including:

  • Dry eye
  • Infections such as cornea ulcers caused by bacteria, viruses and other causes
  • Allergic conditions
  • Auto-immune conditions
  • Hereditary conditions
  • Herpes zoster (shingles) and herpes simplex infections
  • Growths and tumors
  • Scarring following trauma and complications from prior eye surgery

External disease conditions encountered include:

  • Blepharitis
  • Atropic Conjuctivitis

These conditions can cause significant symptoms of ocular irritation and pain, and can lead to significant vision loss

Medical treatment of corneal and external disease conditions

There are a wide variety of medical treatments for corneal and external disease conditions, ranging from over the counter artificial tears of different types to prescription medications to specially formulated eye drops made only by compounding pharmacies.  Other non-surgical treatments include special bandage contact lenses made of amniotic membrane tissue to heal and protect the cornea as well as punctal plugs for dry eye.

Surgical options for corneal and external disease conditions

Quigley Eye Specialists’ Emmanuel Kai-Lewis, M.D. is a surgical specialist in Cornea and External Disease, as well as  cataract / lens implant surgery and complex surgical procedures involving the anterior segment of the eye. If you require cornea surgery, you will be in good hands with Dr. Kai-Lewis.

 Dr. Emmanuel Kai-Lewis is fellowship trained in advanced surgical management of corneal conditions such as complete corneal transplantation and, DSEK and DMEK which are two types of inner-layer corneal transplantation procedures, He also performs advanced amniotic membrane procedures and anterior segment reconstruction procedures.

Cataract Specialist


In your parents or grandparents day cataract surgery was considered risky, required a lengthy hospital stay and was usually postponed for as long as possible.

Today, at Quigley Eye Specialists, cataract surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure and takes only minutes. After cataract surgery, patients can go home to rest in comfort, and avoid the inconvenience and expense of staying in a hospital.

About Cataracts

Over fifty percent of people over the age of 60, and quite a few younger than that, suffer from cataracts. In fact, cataracts are so common, it is said that everyone will develop a cataract if they live long enough.

A cataract is a progressive clouding of the eye’s natural lens that interferes with light passing through to the retina. Sufferers usually describe the condition as being similar to looking through a waterfall, or a piece of wax paper, with a gradual blurring or dimming of vision.

Reading may become more difficult and driving a car can actually become dangerous. Cataract sufferers may also be troubled by a bothersome glare, halos around the lights, or even double vision. And, as the cataract becomes worse, frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions become progressively less helpful and, of course, more costly.

Currently, there is no medical treatment to reverse or prevent the development of cataracts. Once they form, there is only one way to achieve clear vision again, and that is to physically remove the cataract from inside the eye and replace it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL).

Advances in Cataract Surgery at Quigley Eye Specialists – SmartLenses®

There have been many advances in cataract surgery techniques and IOL technology in recent years. With over one million cataract surgery procedures performed each year, many patients now experience a quality of vision that is even better than before they developed cataracts.

This is particularly true for our patients who choose Quigley Eye Specialists' SmartLenses®. Our SmartLens® is a special multi-focal IOL technology that may allow you to see at distance, up-close and in-between without the need for eye glasses.

Dr. Kai-Lewis will remove your cataract with an advanced technique called phacoemulsification or small-incision cataract surgery. Most people only require topical, "eye-drop" anesthesia. After the eye is completely numbed, Dr. Kai-Lewis makes a self-sealing incision of only one eighth of an inch in the sclera (the white part of the eye), or in the clear cornea (just about the area where the cornea meets the sclera).

Next, Dr. Kai-Lewis uses a phaco-emulsifier to reduce the cataract to microscopic particles using high-energy sound waves and then he gently suctions them from the eye. To compensate for the removal of the eye’s natural lens, an intraocular lens (IOL) such as one of our SmartLenses® is implanted into the “capsular bag”, the same thin tissue that held your natural lens. Once the new intraocular lens is positioned by Dr. Kai-Lewis, the eye remains tightly sealed by the natural outward pressure within your eye.

The combination of Dr. Kai-Lewis’ extensive training in cataract surgery with his fellowship experience in cornea problems means that he is uniquely trained to perform cataract surgery on patients who may also have medical issues with their cornea.

Correction of your Astigmatism

About one in six people in the US have astigmatism which means that the eye is not perfectly round and therefore, one must wear glasses. However, Dr. Kai-Lewis is able to correct astigmatism with our special SmartLenses, called toric IOL’s, or through a special surgical technique during cataract surgery. This is good news for his patients with astigmatism because its correction opens up the possibility of being less dependent on glasses for everyday activities.

Benefits of Self-Sealing Procedures and Topical Anesthesia

Topical anesthesia and self-sealing incisions have taken cataract surgery to a new level of comfort for our patiensts and many of them are able to see with clear vision much sooner after the surgery. In most cases, it is now possible to return to daily activities, such as driving and reading, almost immediately. With "eye-drop" anesthesia, there is no need for a painful needle injection which delays vision restoration and could cause temporary swelling and skin discoloration.

The Choice Is Yours

It can take months or years for a cataract to fully develop. How do you know when its time to have a cataract removed? The answer is quite simple. The time to have your cataract removed is when you believe your quality of life would be better if you could see better. Only you can decide when it’s time to open your eyes to a brighter, clearer world. And when it is time, come see Dr. Kai-Lewis and his team and let them take great care of you!

Request Desktop Site