Dr. R. Usha Kim

Chief, Orbit, Oculoplasty and Ocular Oncology Services
Director, Mid Level Ophthalmic Personnel
Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai

Dr Usha Kim heads the Department of Orbit, Oculoplasty, Ocular Oncology and Ocular Prosthetics at Aravind Eye Hospitals. After completing her graduation in Medicine from the prestigious PSG Institute of Medicine, Coimbatore, she went on to complete her residency in Ophthalmology at Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai. Later, she underwent specialized training in field of Orbit, Oculoplasty and Ocular Oncology under the guidance of Dr. William B. Stewart at the University of California, USA.

In 1998, Dr. Usha started the Department of Orbit and Oculoplasty at Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai. Under her leadership, the department has become a Centre of Excellence in the treatment of the rarer ocular conditions that have to do with trauma, congenital anomalies and cancers of the eye. The department has become one of the leading units for diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and research in this field of ophthalmology. In the last 20 years, this clinic has seen over 6,41,701 patients and performed over 1,47,008 surgeries – making it one among the largest units for orbit and oculoplasty work in the world. The Department has integrated oncology care for patients as well as started providing custom-made ocular prosthetics. Dr. Usha continues to be a high volume cataract surgeon at Aravind in addition to her surgical expertise in orbit & oculoplasty.

Dr. Usha set up the Ring of Hope initiative in 2004, to raise funds for the treatment of poor ocular oncology patients to cover their all Medical Expenses. Till date, 7000 patients have been treated free of cost under this programme.

Dr. Usha’s unit is also a preferred destination for training in Orbit, Oculoplasty, Ocular Oncology & Ocular Prosthetics Services – so far, 80 ophthalmologists have undergone long-term fellowship under her; 74 international fellows have undergone short term training. In addition, 80  ocularists from across the globe have been trained in the technical skills of producing custom-made ocular prosthetics. (12,032, Facial prosthesis 42)

Dr Usha is a member of various bodies within and outside Aravind. She is currently the President of Oculoplastic Association of India. Given her interest in Oncology, she is currently involved in genetic research pertaining to Retinoblastoma. She has 57  publications  to her credit out of which 34  are in international  23 national journals.

She has also contributed to several books. She has coauthored the Atlas of Imaging in Neuro-ophthalmology and Orbit. She is currently the editor of the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology.

  1. Abraham A, Thirumalairaj K, Gaikwad N, Muthukkaruppan V, Reddy AG, Thangaraj K, Usha Kim, Vanniarajan A. Retinoblastoma discordance in families with twins. Indian J Ophthalmol 2019;67:436-439.
  2. Adulkar NG, Shanthi R, Vidhya N, Usha Kim. Invasive sino-orbital fungal infections in immunocompetent patients: a clinico-pathological study. Eye (Lond). 2019;33:988-994.
  3. Khedekar A, Bharanidharan D, Kim R, Muthukkaruppan V, Usha Kim. Smartphone-based application improves the detection of retinoblastoma. Eye (Lond). 2019;33:896-901.
  4. Sukhdeep B, Rana NM, Pimple D, Usha Kim R. What may Lie Beneath. Saudi J Ophthalmol. 2017;31:124-125.
  5. Bains, S, Usha Kim R, Shanthi, R. Orbital Melanoma with Calcification: a diagnostic dilemma. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2016;64:932-934.
  6. Shanthi, R, Namrata Adulkar, Usha Kim R. Primary Cutaneous Histoplasmosis Mimicking Basal Cell Carcinoma of the Eyelid: a case report and review of literature. Indian J Pathol Microbiol. 2016;59:227-228
  7. Lalan Kumar Arya Rathinam, Sivakumar R, Lalitha, Prajna, Usha Kim R, Sudeep, Ghatani, Tandon, Veena.Trematode Fluke Procerovum Varium as cause of Ocular Inflammation in Children, South India. Emerg Infect Dis.2016;22:192-200
  8. Usha Kim R, Bhagwati, W and Lalitha, Prajna.Primary Canaliculitis: the incidence, clinical features, outcome and long-term epiphora after snip-punctoplasty and curettage. Saudi J Ophthalmol.2015;29:274-277.
  9. Bain S, Vidhya, N, Usha Kim R, Shanthi, R, Devanand, J. Subcutaneous Dissemination from an Orbital Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma. Orbit. 2015;34:338-339.
  10. Namrata Adulkar, Vanniarajan, A, Husain, Akram, Jeyaram, I, Thirumalairaj, K, Shanthi, R, Muthukkaruppan, V R, Usha Kim R. Knudson’s Hypothesis Revisited in Indian Retinoblastoma Patients. Asia Pac J Clin Oncol. 2015;11:299-307.
  11. Thirumalairaj K, Aloysius A Abraham, Bharanidharan, D, Gaikwad, N, Usha Kim R, Muthukkaruppan, V R, Vanniarajan, A.A Stepwise Strategy for Rapid and Cost-Effective RB1 Screening in Indian Retinoblastoma Patients. J Human Genet. 2015;60:547-552.
  12. Bharanidharan D, Logambiga, P, Thirumalairaj, K, Aloysius A Abraham, Usha Kim R, Muthukkaruppan, V R, Vanniarajan, A.Targeted Next Generation Sequencing of RB1 Gene for the Molecular Diagnosis of Retinoblastoma. BMC Cancer. 2015;15:320.
  13. Baer AN, DeMarco, M McAdams, Shiboski, S C, Lam, M Y, Challacombe, S, Daniel, T E, Srinivasan, M, Umehara, H, Vivino, F B, Vollenweider, C F, Zhao, Y, Criswell, L A, Shiboski, C H, Sjogren’s International Collaborative Clinical Alliance Research Groups. The SSB-Positive, SSA-Negative Antibody Profile is not Associted with Key Phenotypic Features of Sjogren’s Syndrome. Ann Rheum Dis. 2015;74:1557-15.
  14. Namrata Adulkar, Arunkumar, M J, Mahesh Kumar, Usha Kim R. Unusual Case of Temporal Dermoid Cyst Presenting as Oculomotor Nerve Palsy. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2014;62:1032-1034.
  15. Bijnya Panda, Usha Kim R .Complications of Retained Intraorbital Wooden Foreign Body. Oman J Ophthalmol.2014;7:38-39.
  16. Namrata Adulkar, Usha Kim R, Shashikant Shetty. Superior Oblique Muscle Entrapment in Orbital Fracture Presenting as Acquired Brown-Like Syndrome: a case report and review of literature. Ophthalmic Plas Reconstructive Surgery. 2014; 30:e26-8.
  17. Namrata Adulkar, Shanthi, R, Vidhya, N, Usha Kim R. RPE Adenocarcinoma as the Presenting Sign of Bronchogenic Carcinoma: diagnostic dilemma in the management of a case. Case Rep Ophthalmol Med. 2013;2013:786378.
  18. Namrata Adulkar, Shanthi R, Usha Kim R. A Unique Case of Intracorneal Aberrant Lenticular Rest. J AAPOS. 2013;17:326-327.
  19. Usha Kim R, Kavitha, R Sivaraman. Penetrating Orbital Injuries from Plant Material during Pond and River Diving. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2013;61:76-77.
  20. Rathinam SR, Arya LM, Usha Kim R, Lalitha, Prajna, Veena Tandon.Novel Etiological Agent: molecular evidence for trematode-induced anterior uveitis in children. Arch Ophthal.2012;130 :1481-1483.
  21. Gowri Priya C, Arpitha, Parthasarathy, Vaishali, S, Prajna, N Venkatesh, Usha Kim R, Sheetal, K, Muthukkaruppan, V R.Adult Human Buccal Epithelial Stem Cells: identification, ex-vivo expansion, and transplantation for corneal surface reconstruction. Eye. 2011;25:1641-1649.
  22. Usha Kim R, Vipul Arora, Akash, D Shah, Urvasi Solanki. Clinical Features and Management of Posttraumatic Subperiosteal Hematoma of the Orbit. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2011;59:55-58.
  23. Usha Kim R, Akash, D Shah, Vipul Arora, Urvasi Solanki. Isolated Optic Nerve Infiltration in Systemic Lymphoma – A Case Report and Review of Literature. Ophthalmic Plas Reconstructive Surgery. 2010;26:291-3.
  24. Usha Kim R, Akash, D Shah, Shanthi, R, Vipul Arora. Primary T Cell, Histiocyte-Rich Large B-Cell Lymphoma of the Orbit. Ophthalmic Plas Reconstructive Surgery. 2011;27:e31-2.
  25. Usha Kim R, Hadi, M Khazaei, Bill, Stewart W, Akash, D Shah. Spectrum of Orbital Disease in South India: an Aravind study of 6328 consecutive patients. Ophthalmic Plas Reconstructive Surgery. 2010;26:315-322.
  26. Usha Kim R, Akash, D Shah, Shanthi, R, Vipul Arora. Primary Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma of the Eyelid. Ophthalmic Plas Reconstructive Surgery. 2010;26:134-136.
  27. Vipul Arora, Usha Kim R, Shashikant Shetty, Akash, D Shah. Atypical Presentation of an Unusual Foreign Body. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2010;58:338-339.
  28. Usha Kim R, Vipul Arora, Shanthi, R, Akash, D Shah, Phelps, Paul O. Orbital Hyalinizing Spindle Cell Tumor with Giant Rosettes. Ophthalmic Plas Reconstructive Surgery. 2010;26:30-32.
  29. Svati Bansal, Usha Kim R. Bilateral Isolated Orbital Neurofibroma. Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging. 2010;1-3.
  30. Rajiniganth MG, Usha Kim R, Mahesh Kumar. Coexistent Optic Neuritis and Isolated Acute Sphenoid Sinusitis. Clinical Rhinology. 2009:47-50.
  31. Usha Kim R. Multimodality Treatment Approach in Management of Primary Peripheral Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor of the Orbit. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2009;57:395-398.
  32. Vipul Arora, Usha Kim R, Hadi, M Khazaei. Delleman Oorthuys Syndrome: oculocerebrocutaneous syndrome. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2009;57:387-389.
  33. Vipul Arora, Usha Kim R, Hadi, M Khazaei, Shivayogi Kusagur. Ophthalmic Complications Including Retinal Detachment in Hyperimmunoglobulinemia E (Job’s) Syndrome: case report and review of literature. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2009;57:385-386.
  34. Usha Kim R, Vipul Arora, Shanthi, R, Akash, D Shah. Neglected Giant Atypical Fibroxanthoma of the Eyelid. Ophthalmic Plas Reconstructive Surgery. 2009;25
  35. Usha Kim R, Vipul Arora, Akash, D Shah, Srinivasan, K G. Ocular Malformation with a Double Globe Appearance. Indian J Radiol Imaging. 2009;19:298-300.
  36. Rajiniganth, Usha Kim R, Vipul Arora. Xanthoma in the Supraorbital Ethimoid Cell: an unusual lesion at unusual site. Clinical Rhinology. 2008
  37. Madge SN, Prabhakaran, V C, Shome, D, Usha Kim R, Honavar, S, Selva, D. Orbital Tuberculosis: a review of the literature. Orbit. 2008;27:267-277.
  38. Nallathambi J, Lessaffre, Corinne, Moumne, Lara, Padaranayaka, swari, Usha Kim R, Krishnaswamy, S, Sundaresan, P, Veita, Reiner A. Differential Functional Effects of Novel Mutations of the Transcription Factor FOXL2 in BPES Patients. Hum Mutat. 2008;29:123-130.
  39. Nallathambi J, Neethirajan G, Usha Kim R, Jitendra Jethani, Sundaresan, P. FOXL2 mutaions in Indian Families with Bleparophimosis-ptosis-epicanthus inversus Syndrome. J Genetics. 2007;86:165-168.
  40. Nallathambi J, Moumne, L, De Baere E, Beysen, E, Usha Kim R, Sundaresan, P, Veitia, R A. A Novel polyalanine Expansion in FOXL2: the Forst Evidence for a recessive form of the Blepharophimosis Syndrome (BPES) associated with Ovarian Dysfunction. Hum Genet. 2007;121:107-112.
  41. Usha Kim R, Smitha, S, Nagendra Shah, Lalitha, Prajna, Rahul Kelkar. Spectrum and the Susceptibilities of Microbial Isolates in Cases of Congenital Nasolacrimal Duct Obstruction. J AAPOS. 2006;10:469-472.
  42. Vijayalakshmi P, Jitendra Jethani, Usha Kim R. Congenital Unilateral Ocular Fibrosis Syndrome Secondary to Benign Congenial Tumor. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2006;54:123-125.
  43. Gritz DC, Srinivasan, M, Smith, S D, Usha Kim R, Lietman, T M, Wilkins, J H, Priyadharshini, B, John, R K, Aravind, S, Prajna, N Venkatesh, Thulasiraj, R D, Whitcher, J P. The Antioxidants in Prevention of Cataract Study: effects of antioxidant supplements on cataract progression in South India. Br J Ophthalmol. 2006;90:847-851.
  44. Gritz DC, Srinivasan, M, Smith, Scott D, Usha Kim R, Lietman, Thomas M, Wilkins, John H, Priyadarshini, Brinda, Aravind, Srinivasan, Prajna, N Venkatesh, Smolin, Gilbert, Thulasiraj, R D, Selvaraj, Sivasubramaniam, Whitcher, John P. Antioxidants in Prevention of Cataracts in South India: methodology and baseline data. Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2006;13:97-107.
  45. Thakker MM, Usha Kim R. Orbital Foreign Body and Ruptured Globe from Needlefish Impalement. Arch Ophthal. 2006;124:284.
  46. Mansberger SL, Johnson, Chris A, Cioffi, George A, Choi, Dongseok, Krishnadas, R, Srinivasan, M, Balamurugan, V, Usha Kim R, Smith, Scott D, Wilkins, John H, Gritz, David C. Predictive Value of Frequency Doubling Technology Perimetry for Detecting Glaucoma in a Developing Country. J Glaucoma. 2005;14:128-134.
  47. Vasumathy V, Kim, R, Ganesan, S, Usha Kim R. Hemiretinal Vein Occlusion Associated with Pseudotumour Orbit: an observational case report. Eye. 2005;19:353-356.
  48. Rathinam SR, Usha Kim R, Rao, Narsing A. Presumed Trematode-induced Granulomatous Anterior Uveitis: a newly recognized cause of intraocular inflammation in children from South India. Am. J. Ophthalmol. 2002;133:773-779.

Dr Usha Kim is a member of various bodies within and outside Aravind. She was the Ex. President of Oculoplastic Association of India. Given her interest in Oncology, she is currently involved in genetic research pertaining to Retinoblastoma. She has 61 publications to her credit out of which 36 are in international 25 national and State journals. 

She has also contributed to several books. She has co-authored the Atlas of Imaging in Neuro-ophthalmology and Orbit. She is currently the reviewer of the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology.

In addition to her core clinical work, Dr. Usha Kim is involved in key leadership positions at the Aravind Eye Care System. She is one of the trustees of GOVEL Trust that runs Aravind Eye Hospitals. She is the Director of the Allied Ophthalmic Personnel training programme since 2005. This programme is accredited by JCAHPO, USA. Over the last five years, she has taken up the additional responsibility of overseeing the growing network of Aravind’s primary eye care service, which has 100 centres currently. 

 In the addition to all of these activities, when society needed her expertise in the subject she has always readily and actively participated. COVID -19 pandemic was a good example of this that in the pandemic main focuses was on respiratory problems, but orbit specialist also faced challenge of treating mucormycosis. It is a secondary fatal fungal infection noted in diabetic and non diabetic patients post COVID-19 infection. In the second wave of COVID -19 pandemic in southern India significant rise in the mucormycosis cases was noted and health system was strained due to lack of availability of drugs and expertise. In this scenario Dr.Usha Kim played a key role in procuring anti-fungal medications and treating patients with mucormycosis. She also organized large funding for treatment of patients with mucormycosis from low socioeconomic strata as this treatment was not affordable for everyone. Our center saw around 300 patients of mucormycosis in the 6months (May 2021-Oct -2021) which is the highest number of patients seen by any single centre in India. Dr. Usha Kim has used novel technique of salvaging globe and orbit in mucormycosis with use of antifungal injections in the eye. (retrobulbar amphotericin B). We are proud to state that our patients are leading healthy and good quality life after one year of the detection of the devastating infection, healthily without orbital exenteration.

She was the Best Outgoing Student of her school and college. Dr. Usha is the proud recipient of several major awards, to name a few:

  • CP Gupta Award for ‘Best Paper’ from TNOA in 2002
  • ‘Best Poster’ award for Prospective Evaluation of Contracted Anophthalmic Sockets in the Indo Israel Meeting held in Chennai in 2005
  • ‘Vocational excellence Award’ from Rotary Club of Madurai in 2010 for her work in the community
  • Best Orbital Photography’ award in Joint Meeting of the Oculoplastics Association of India & Asia Pacific Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 2007
  • International Women’s day Excellence award by the Lions club of Madurai District 324-B3 March 8, 2015 for her work in the field of Ocular Oncology
  • PSG & Sons’ Charities, Coimbatore Scroll of Honour awarded for her an eminent expert in diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and research in ophthalmology holding a key leadership position in a reputed Eye Care system, for having conducted a large number of cataract surgeries in addition to her widely acclaimed expertise in orbit oculoplasty, ocular prosthetic services, ocular oncology and her personal involvement in the Ring of Hope initiative.
    Jan 27, 2016
  • March 7th 2019,  International Women’s day Elegance of womanhood award of Excellence, BNI, Chanakayaas, Madurai.
  • March 9th 2019, Vocational Excellence award by Rotary Club of Madurai Blossom RI District 3000 Club No 8700 charted on 29.06.15, for her dedicated efforts for future vision in advanced eye care.
  • July 2019, Vocational Excellence award by Rotary Club of Madurai Star/Madurai East/Madurai Kings City Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of exemplary contribution in the field of Medicine and for her Commitment and Dedication to High moral and Ethical values.
  • Aug 2019, Tamilnadu Panopthamic Premier League – TNOA Conference – Won Trophy Five times
  • Nov 2015 – 2019 Dr.M.K.Mehra Oration Award – King George Medical University, Lucknow
  • 26th Jan 2020 The Award of Exceptional women of Excellence – Women Economic Forum
  • 5th March 2020 International women’s day Achiever’s award in recognition of her efforts to build an Equal Society, Lady Doak College, Madurai & Transgender Resource Centre, Madurai.
  • 8th Mar 2020 Women’s Day awarded to Dr.Usha Kim in recognition of Women Achievers contribution to Society at Large, Devadoss Hospital, Madurai
  • 22-Nov-20 A pride in presenting this Citation to Dr.Usha Kim on the Occasion of Dr.Balagopal Memorial Meet Endowment Lecture, Association of Physicians of India – Trichy
  • 2021 July- Dr. R.H.P.Sinha Oration award from Bihar Ophthalmic Society, Bihar for incredible contribution in the field of Retinoblastoma named Journey of Hope in mid-year conference of OPAI