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Ocular Oncology

The Ocular Oncology Section is led by Dr. Renelle Lim. Ocular tumors can be benign or malignant. Malignant tumors of the eye are life-threatening conditions affecting patients without distinction of age, gender or race.

The goal of the Ocular Oncology Section at Yale is to improve the prognosis of these rare diseases in terms of life, conservation of the eye and sight.

Dr. Habib (left) and Dr. Lim (right) perform surgery during the covid pandemic to care for patients who require complex reconstructive surgery.

We provide diagnosis and treatment of the following (among others):

  • Benign tumors (like choroidal nevus, choroidal hemangiomas)
  • Pseudotumors
  • Malignant melanoma (iris, ciliary body, choroid, conjunctiva, eyelid, orbit and metastatic melanoma to the eye)
  • Retinoblastoma (most common intraocular malignancy in children)
  • Ocular metastasis from systemic cancers
  • Retinal tumors (retinal hemangioblastomas also known as retinal capillary hemangiomas, and other vascular tumors, astrocytic tumors, adenomas and adenocarcinomas of the retinal pigment epithelium, and others)
  • Conjunctival tumors

Our Ophthalmic oncology program is the only University based center in the state of Connecticut. At the state of the art Smilow Cancer center, first year residents examine patients with ophthalmic oncologic conditions and assist with surgery.

Ocular Oncology Faculty

  • Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science

    Dr. Habib completed her an ASOPRS fellowship in Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, Massachusetts.  She obtained her M.D. from Rutgers University – New Jersey Medical School. From there she underwent residency training in ophthalmology at Columbia University and went on to complete her first fellowship in Ocular Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Habib has presented her research at many national conferences, including ARVO, ASOPRS and NANOS.  She has played a strong role in resident education through conferences, mentorship, as well as direct surgical and clinical supervision.  She currently serves as an editor for the Academy of Ophthalmology ONE Network Ocular Oncology division.  In addition, she has served as a reviewer for numerous journals including American Journal of Ophthalmology, British Journal of Ophthalmology, Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and Orbit.  Her research interests include orbital disease, orbital trauma and fracture, periocular and ocular malignancy, thyroid eye disease, and reconstructive surgery.

  • Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science

    Dr. Lim is Director of the Ocular Oncology Program.  Dr. Lim completed her fellowships in Ocular Oncology and Oculoplastic and Orbital Surgery at Wills Eye Hospital.  She completed medical school training and residency at Downstate Medical Center in New York.  Dr. Lim has authored over 30 peer reviewed publications and presents her research for national and international audiences.  She is an editor for the Academy of Ophthalmology ONE Network Ocular Oncology division.  Dr. Lim works with an outstanding team of specialists at Smilow Cancer Center to provide comprehensive care for patients with oncologic eye disease.  Her clinical interests include: uveal melanoma, eyelid and orbital tumors, eyelid reconstruction, and eyelid malposition.  She is available for consultation for all disorders involving cancer in the eye and periocular region, as well as functional and cosmetic oculoplastic surgery.