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Kato Eye Clinic in Shibuya Tokyo. is situated right across the street from the statue of Hachiko at Shibuya Station, the Kato Eye Clinic handles all types of eye diseases and injuries. Dr. Takuji Kato founded the clinic about ten years ago, and is assisted by nine other ophthalmologists having various specialties and ten other support staff.
The clinic’s basic services include comprehensive vision exams and multiple options for vision correction, most prominently an alternative to LASIK called orthokeratology. The clinic’s major strengths include having specialists in infectious diseases, both the cornea and retina, and glaucoma and cataracts. It also handles pediatric eye care. Eye glass and contact lens prescriptions are of course available as well.
While the clinic does perform minor surgeries onsite, the doctors are primarily diagnosticians who refer patients to hospitals and surgeons for treatment. They have very strong relationships with the top specialists in handling glaucoma, cataracts and problems such as detached retinas.
The clinic sees many glaucoma patients because of Japan’s aging population. Kato and his team also treat a lot of infections from contact lenses, and frequently deal with cases of cataracts and allergic conjunctivitis. In recent years Dr. Kato has researched new technology related to glaucoma and invested in OCT diagnostic equipment that can identify the condition in the very early stages.
Orthokeratology —which uses a type of gas-permeable contact lens to correct myopia without resorting to surgery such as LASIK—is a specialty of the Kato Eye Clinic. The patient wears the lenses at night, and the following day can enjoy excellent vision for between 12 and 20 hours on average. Over the eight years the clinic has offered the option, it has fitted over two thousand patients with these lenses—the most of any facility in Japan. This is an especially attractive option for younger patients, who can’t have LASIK surgery until they are eighteen. In addition, there is new evidence that employing orthokeratology may prevent nearsightedness in children as they grow older.
Although the clinic currently treats a relatively small percentage of foreign patients, Dr. Kato can assist those who don’t speak Japanese whenever he is there.
Takuji kato, Director of Kato Eye Clinic:
Dr. Takuji Kato earned his medical degree in ophthalmology in 1990 from Juntendo University School of Medicine in Tokyo. In addition to residencies in both anesthesiology and ophthalmology, he has worked at the Japanese Red Cross Medical Center and headed Juntendo’s ophthalmology department. His primary area of expertise is the cornea.
From 1999 to 2001, Dr. Kato was also a research fellow at two Harvard University affiliates, the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary and Schepens Eye Research Institute. He discovered new functions for type 18 collagen that promoted wound healing in the cornea. During that period he also won two awards: a Bausch & Lomb & MEEI research fellowship award in 1999, and a Japan Eye Bank research award in 2000.