Eye Institute are extremely fortunate to house 15 world class surgeons in our state of the art, purpose built facility. Our surgeons are invited to present on the latest techniques and advancements in ophthalmic treatment at events not only around New Zealand, but around the world. Meet our industry leading 'Visionaries' below: 


“It is extremely satisfying when precise planning and preparation lead to perfect visual outcomes.” - Dr Ben LaHood

Dr LaHood has advanced training in refractive cataract surgery and laser vision correction techniques. He offers a range of procedures aimed at helping people see as well as possible without the need for glasses or contact lenses.

He is passionate about using his expertise to provide a personalised service to achieve the visual goals for each of his patients. His approachable manner puts patients at ease and has also made him a popular speaker when teaching students, optometrists, general practitioners and trainee eye surgeons. His cutting edge research in the fields of cataract and refractive surgery has been recognised with publications, presentations and seminars at international conferences.

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Dr LaHood’s specialisations:

LASIK/SMILE/PRK Laser Vision Correction

Laser Vision Correction involves the use of a laser to change the shape of the surface of the eye, the cornea. By altering the shape of the cornea, laser eye surgery can remove any focusing error. It corrects Shortsightedness, Longsightedness and Astigmatism.


Different laser techniques suit certain eyes and offer various advantages. Dr LaHood has the experience to discuss these options with you and help you decide which option is right for your eyes.


Refractive Cataract Surgery

It is not always necessary to wear glasses after cataract surgery. Dr LaHood has trained with the latest techniques and technology to be able to aim for you to have excellent unaided vision without glasses or contact lenses.


Customised cataract surgery solutions tailored for each individual patient and eye can mean that glasses may not be necessary for any task, whether far distance, intermediate social distance or reading up close. Specialised techniques include:


  • Customised planning based on Dr LaHood’s research.
  • Multifocal and Toric intraocular lenses available.
  • No needle anaesthesia (safe for patients on aspirin and warfarin)
  • No sutures (“key-hole” small incision surgery)
  • No worries - sedation provided by a specialist anaesthetist, if you desire


Refractive Lens Exchange

Cataract surgery can be performed prior to the natural lens of the eye becoming opaque. Sometimes the best and most long-lasting solution is to replace this lens at an earlier stage and aim to provide better unaided vision than many people have ever experienced. This surgery can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism as well as correct age changes that have taken away the ability to change focus.


Pterygium Surgery

  • No suture technique using tissue glue allows a more comfortable recovery.
  • Including removal of recurrent and advanced pterygia.


Ocular Surface Disease

Dry eye is being increasingly recognised as a major problem causing a decrease in quality of life. It can seem like an ongoing battle. We are passionate about making improvements in caring for dry eyes and working as a team with each patient to make a difference. Dr LaHood and his team offer the latest technology and experience to diagnose the causes of dry eyes accurately and treat appropriately.


Oculoplastic Surgery

Eyelid surgery including ectropion, entropion, and blepharoplasty as well as excision of skin cancers around the eyes and cosmetic repairs.


Keratoconus Management

Monitoring of keratoconus is important as progression can be slowed down and sometimes improved by corneal cross-linking. Dr LaHood and his team use the latest devices to monitor keratoconus and perform crosslinking treatment when appropriate. In some cases, laser vision correction can also be used to improve visual quality in keratoconus. Dr LaHood has used both cross-linking and laser treatment to safely improve the vision of patients with keratoconus. 


More info about Dr LaHood

Training and Principal Qualifications:

  • MBChB (Distinction) 2007 (University of Otago)
  • PGDipOphthBS (Distinction) 2011 (University of Otago)
  • MPhil (Ophth) Candidate (University of Adelaide)
  • FRANZCO Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists


Ben completed his sub-specialty training in refractive surgical techniques in Adelaide, Australia where he was mentored by Associate Professor Michael Goggin, a world leader in the management of astigmatism. He has also spent time in the United States gaining further refractive surgery experience.


​He has excelled academically from an early stage in his career. Ben was the first ranked entrant into Otago Medical School in New Zealand, where he graduated with distinction and received prizes in Ophthalmology and Surgery. He remains the only candidate of the Post-graduate Diploma in Ophthalmology to be awarded all three prizes in Ophthalmic Anatomy, Physiology and Optics from the University of Sydney simultaneously. Ben continues his academic pursuits to improve outcomes for his patients and was recently awarded a grant from the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons to present his research findings.



Associations and memberships:

  • Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (FRANZCO)
  • Member of the New Zealand Medical Council
  • Member of the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS)
  • Member of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ASCRS)


Recent Publications:

  • Comparing Total Keratometry Measurement on the IOLMaster 700 with Goggin Nomogram Adjusted Anterior Keratometry (Journal of Refractive Surgery 2018)
  • Measurement of Posterior Corneal Astigmatism by the IOLMaster 700  (Journal of Refractive Surgery 2018)
  • Astigmatic overcorrection and axis flip for targeting minimal remaining refractive astigmatism with toric intraocular lenses (Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery 2018)
  • Assessing the Likely Effect of Posterior Corneal Curvature on Toric IOL Calculation for IOLs of 2.50 D or Greater Cylinder Power  (Journal of Refractive Surgery 2017)
  • Antibiotic prophylaxis in cataract surgery in the setting of penicillin allergy: A decision-making algorithm (Survey of Ophthalmology 2017)
  • Corneal collagen crosslinking and pigment dispersion syndrome(Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery 2017)

Dr LaHood, after hours...

Ben loves spending time with his partner, Eve, and travelling together when they get a chance. After growing up in the cool climate of Dunedin, he enjoys to get to the beach whenever possible.

Make an appointment now

Call us on 0800 99 2020

Book now