Heather M. Skeens, MD, CFMP, is a cornea, cataract, and refractive fellowship trained ophthalmologist with 15 years experience in her field. She is the founder of her practice, the West Virginia Cornea and Cataract Center of Excellence, PLLC. Dr. Skeens performs all types of cornea transplantation techniques including, full thickness cornea transplantation(PK), and partial thickness cornea transplantation(DSEK, DMEK and DALK), as well as artificial cornea transplant.
Dr. Skeens performs state-of-the art, painless and suture-less small incision cataract surgery and laser cataract surgery. She offers presbyopia and astigmatism correcting intraocular lenses. Additionally, she is fellowship trained in the treatment of complex cataract surgery for patients that have undergone trauma to the eye, or have advanced cataracts requiring techniques not typically performed, and devices not regularly required in routine cataract surgery.
Dr. Skeens performs bladeless LASIK as well as PRK for the correction of refractive errors should a patient desire to decrease his/her dependence on glasses or contact lenses.
Other areas of surgical expertise for Dr. Skeens include anterior segment reconstruction in eyes that have undergone chemical or thermal burns, corneal collagen cross-linking for disorders such as keratoconus, induced ectasia, and pellucid marginal degeneration, pterygium removal, and stem cell transplantation for limbal stem cell deficiency induced by genetic abnormality, autoimmune disease, or injury. Amniotic membrane therapy for stem cell deficiency, as well as dry eye is available. Medically, Dr. Skeens specializes in the treatment of advanced ocular surface disease, dry eye disease, contact lens related cornea issues, and cornea ulcers.
A native of Charleston, West Virginia, Dr. Skeens graduated from George Washington High School, and received a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in biology from the University of Kentucky in 1998. She received a medical degree with Alpha Omega Alpha honors, and an internship in Internal Medicine from Marshall University School of Medicine in Huntington, W.V. She completed a 3-year residency at the West Virginia University Department of Ophthalmology followed by a year long cornea and cataract fellowship from the prestigious Cincinnati Eye Institute, under the direction of Dr. Edward J. Holland, MD. Dr. Skeens served on the faculty of the Storm Eye Institute at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC as an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology. She is in addition, a Certified Functional Medicine Provider, and is board-eligible for the Diplomate in Clinical Nutrition examination.
Dr. Skeens is a member with thesis of The Cornea Society, as well as a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ASCRS), and International Society of Refractive Surgery. She has authored numerous book chapters in prominent cornea texts including chapters on congenital stem cell deficiency, cornea transplantation, pterygium removal, and the management of post cornea transplant astigmatism. Journal publications include topics on cornea transplantation techniques to reduce astigmatism and improve post transplant visual acuity. She is a current active author for the journal Integrative Practitioner.
Dr. Skeens’ numerous research interests involve the diagnosis and treatment of ocular surface disease, and she has been an invited lecturer at the annual AAO, ASCRS, and Kiawah Eye meetings. She has reported on the safety profile of systemic immunosuppression in patients undergoing ocular surface transplantation for limbal stem cell deficiency, which causes a loss in corneal transparency. She also has given lectures on refractive surgical correction to decrease astigmatism following cornea transplantation, and has described a variant of congenital aniridia in which an iris is present.
Dr. Skeens outside interests include spending time with her two boys, ages 7 and 9, as well as yoga, golf, hiking, and taekwando. She is certified by the Korean Taekwando Association as a second degree black belt, and is studying for her third. Dr. Skeens founded Almost Heaven Yoga and Sauna Services in Summersville, WV, where she teaches yoga in her spare time.
Dr. Skeens is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.