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Kenneth J Hoffer, MD FACS

Dr. Hoffer graduated from Siena College (Loudonville NY), the State University of New York (SUNY), Upstate Medical University (Syracuse), the UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center (Internship) and Kresge Eye Institute/Wayne State University (Eye Residency, Detroit MI). He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force (1969-1972) and began private practice in Santa Monica, CA on July 17, 1972. That year (in October), he performed his first case of phacoemulsification. He has been on the Faculty of the Stein Eye Institute, University of California, Los Angeles since 1974 and named a Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology in 1990.

All in April 1974: 1) he implanted the first IOL in Santa Monica (and 2 months later combined it with phacoemulsification), 2) founded the American Intra-Ocular Implant Society (now ASCRS) as well as setting up its original Board, structure and meetings, 3) performed the 1st ultrasound axial Length IOL power calculation in the US using his original Hoffer formula he developed in 1974. He convinced Medicare to finally reimburse surgeons for IOL power calclations in 1977. The following year he inaugurated the first ASCRS Symposiums at the Century Plaza Hotel, LA and was the founding Editor of the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (JCRS). He established the ASCRS Binkhorst Medal Lecture in September 1975. As ASCRS Secretary, he ran the Society, chaired its meetings as well as edited the journal until 1981 when he retired. He obtained AMA acceptance of ASCRS as affiliate society with CME.


Within several years, he performed the first viscosurgery (Healon) (1979) in the US, the first Radial Keratotomy procedure west of the Mississippi (1979) and presented the first RK paper (AAO) on the results of the UCLA Clinical Trial of RK as well as the first published paper on RK in the US (“Ophthalmology”). He designed the RK Cross-Hair Trephine and presented the first paper on LASEK (at AAO). In 1978, he invented the Hoffer Ridge IOL design to prevent Elschnig pearls and make YAG laser capsulotomy safer for the IOL posterior surface. During the 1980s, the Hoffer Ridge design (by 7 manufacturers) was responsible for half of all IOLs sold throughout the world. It later “morphed” into the “Sharp Edge” IOL designs. He invented the first Multifocal IOL in March 1983 and implanted it in US patients in October 1990. He developed the “Hoffer Programs” IOL calculator in 1990 and in 1996 produced the first computer program for IOL power (DOS, Windows, Mac, Palm). He implanted the first ThinOptX PMMA foldable IOL in Tijuana, Mexico, Dec 27, 2003 and implanted a Russian Phakic PC IOL (PRL) (Pt: Salvatora Zizzi) in Bari, Italy, May 24, 1997 as well as the first PRL in America in December 1999 while becoming the Medical Monitor for its FDA study.


He was Board Certified in ophthalmology (Diplomat of the American Board of Ophthalmology) in 1974, is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (1979), was elected a Trustee of the California Medical Association (1996-2010), President of the California Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (1983), President of the Los Angeles County Medical Association (2000) and the Los Angeles Society of Ophthalmology (1999). He was a founding member and first President of the IOL Power Club (IPC) in 2005. He founded the EyeLab which provided ultrasound IOL power calculations, endothelial cell counts and made the first YAG laser available to his colleagues throughout Southern California (1978-1986).


His teaching started in November 1974 and presented the Orpha Ellen Reeh Lecture at the Oregon Academy of Ophthalmology, Portland, OR (1979), Binkhorst Medal Lecture at the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) in 1997, Byron Demorest Lecture at the University of California Davis (1998), Jules Francois Lecture (1998) at the Society of International Diagnostic Ultrasound in Ophthalmology (SIDUO), Thomas Pettit Lecture (2024) at UCLA Stein Annual Alumni Semiar and received both the Life Achievement Honor Award for teaching (2010) and the Secretariat Award for journal reviews (2020) from the AAO. He has been a journal reviewer for most respected ophthalmology journals since the 1980s. He has taught annual 1-2 hour didactic courses on Phacoemulsification/IOL Surgery, YAG Laser Surgery, IOL Power Calculation and Endothelial Cell Counts at the AAO and ASCRS since 1975 and IOL Power courses at ESCRS since 1997. He has published 83 chapters for ophthalmic textbooks, has more than 250 peer-reviewed papers published and was Editor for “IOL Power” and Co-Editor for “Lens Power Calculations” (IPC’s 72 chapter (1,000 page textbook) which is OpenAccess.
Dr. Hoffer and his wife Marcia of 54 years (a retired attorney), reside in Santa Monica, CA and their 3 grown children (Kevin, Jeffrey and Kristin) have given them 5 grandchildren ages 9-24 years. Their main hobby has been exploring all of Europe for 3 month periods biannually from 1997-2022 (www.KHoffer.com).

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