Palm Beach County
  Ophthalmology Society, Inc.
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 Helayna Brown, MD
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 Melissa Iglesias, DO

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Dr. Kelman, MD


Charles D. Kelman, M.D.

Charles Kelman was born in Brooklyn, New York on May 23, 1930. After graduating from Forest Hills High School and Boston's Tufts University, he completed medical studies at the University of Geneva, Switzerland; an internship at Kings County Hospital, Brooklyn; and residency in ophthalmology at the Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia. He has been in private practice in New York City since 1960.

In 1962 Dr. Kelman devised the cryo-probe, a freezing instrument for the extraction of cataracts within their capsules. This became the most widely used method for cataract removal in the world until about 1978 when it was supplanted by extracapsular cataract extraction with irrigation and aspiration, also introduced by Dr. Kelman and still the technique used by the majority of cataract surgeons today. In 1963 Dr. Kelman pioneered the use of freezing for the repair of retinal detachments. Retinal cryopexy remains a frequent adjunct in retinal surgery to this day.

Kelman phacoemulsification, introduced in 1967, became the impetus for today's outpatient cataract surgery. The procedure employs a small ultrasonic tip whose vibrations break up the mass of the cataractous lens within its capsule and suction it out through a small needle. Over a million operations of this type have been performed in this country alone, In 1975 Dr. Kelman began designing lens implants for use in conjunction with cataract surgery. Numerous companies including Allergan Medical Optics, IOLAB, Alcon Surgical, Domilens and Storz Ophthalmics sought his services. Approximate aggregate sales of Kelman-designed lenses by these companies total more than 340 million dollars making Dr. Kelman the world's most successful intraocular lens designer by far.

Neurosurgeons have adopted the Kelman phacoemulsification machine for use in dissection of tumors from the delicate brain and spinal cord tissue in children. In this way, the device has saved hundreds of young lives.
 At present, Charles Kelman is working on several new projects including artificial blood vessels, artificial corneas and a magnetic cataract extraction procedure which will retain the patientís normal ability to focus on near and distant objects,. Other applications of the magnetic technique will be used to remove plaque from arteries and growths from the digestive tract, prostate, bladder and other areas without invasive surgery.

Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at New York Medical College, Dr. Kelman holds the position of Attending Surgeon at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary and Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital. He is Consultant Surgeon at many hospitals throughout the world.

In 1970, Dr. Kelman won the American Academy of Achievement Award. (Prior winners were Dr. Salk and Debakey.) He was the first recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award for excellence in cataract surgery from The American Society of Contemporary Ophthalmology. In 1985 he won the First Innovators Award in Ophthalmology given by The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. In 1989 he received The Binkhorst Medal from The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (making him the first to receive both prestigious awards). In 1990 he was awarded The Ridley Medal from the International Congress of Ophthalmology. In 1991 Dr. Kelman returned to Wills Eye Hospital where he was honored as The Arthur J. Bedell Memorial Lecturer. Later that year, The American Academy of Ophthalmology awarded him their Special Recognition Award. In 1992 he received the Distinguished Service Award from Tufts University and was awarded the "Inventor of the Year Award" from The New York Patent, Trademark and Copyright Law Association for his development of the Kelman phacoemulsification procedure. In June 1992 Dr. Kelman was awarded the Prestigious National Medal of Technology by President Bush. In July 1994 at The International Congress on Cataract and Refractive Surgery in Montreal Canada, Dr. Kelman was named "Ophthalmologist of the Century" for his pioneering work in phacoemulsification. Dr. Kelman is immediate past President of The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons, He has written hundreds of articles, papers and scientific books as well as a lay book on cataracts (Crown Publishing) and an autobiography (Crown Publishing) entitled Through My Eyes.

He has found time to learn to pilot his own helicopter and is avidly following his hobbies of golf, music and performing. He has entertained on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, The Barbara Walters Show, The Merv Griffin Show, The David Letterman Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show and numerous others. He has appeared in concert as a musician with Lionel Hampton and Dizzy Gillespie and has performed in concert at Carnegie Hall, Las Vegas, Atlantic City with The Spinners, Glen Campbell, James Darren, Regis Philbin and others.

He continues to teach his surgical techniques, while devoting his spare time to several new projects including, a musical, "The Right Pair Of Shoes", and an album that was released by Columbia Records.


  2008 Ophthalmologist of the Year was awarded to
Dr. Alan Aker, MD.

  2007 Ophthalmologist of the Year was awarded to
Dr. Louis Feldgoise, MD.

  2004 Ophthalmologist of the Year was awarded to
Dr. Emanuel Newmark, MD.

2003 Ophthalmologist of the Year was awarded to
Dr. Michael Levine, MD.

2002 Ophthalmologist of the Year  was awarded to
Dr. David Cano, MD.

  2001 Ophthalmologist of the Year was Awarded to
Dr. Mark Michels, MD.

Palm Beach County Ophthalmology Society First Ever Honorary Membership Awarded to Dr. Charles D. Kelman.  Click on name to read the article.