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Dr Michael Lawless is one of Australia’s most experienced eye surgeons, having performed more than 30,000 surgical procedures. He is a Clinical Associate Professor at Sydney Medical School (University of Sydney) and is recognised throughout the world as an authority on laser eye surgery. Dr Lawless’s expertise encompasses laser eye surgery (LASIK, ASLA/PRK and SMILE®), cataract and lens replacement surgery (including laser cataract surgery) and phakic intraocular lenses. In addition to his refractive work, Dr Lawless treats corneal conditions using procedures such as corneal cross-linking and corneal transplantation. He is frequently invited to present at major international conferences.
Every day, my only job is to try and make people see the world better.
A/Prof Michael Lawless
First Australian surgeon to perform laser cataract surgery with the femtosecond laser (2011)
First surgeon to perform first-generation LASIK in Sydney (1995)
Clinical Associate Professor, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, New South Wales (2014–present)
Director, Cataract and Refractive Surgery Degree, University of Sydney, New South Wales (2011–present)
Clinical Senior Lecturer, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, New South Wales (1998–2006)
Director of Ophthalmology, Northern Clinical School, New South Wales (1998–2001)
Visiting Professor, University of Melbourne, Victoria (1998)
Medical advisory board member, Alcon/LensSx (2011)
Member Strategic Surgical Portfolio Advisory Council Novartis/Alcon (2018–present)
Executive committee member and international council steering committee member, International Society of Refractive Surgery/American Academy of Ophthalmology (2003–2006)
President, International Society of Refractive Surgery (2001)
Other professional achievements
Published the award-winning book 'The Naked Eye', co-written with Professor Gerard Sutton
Chairman, Department of Ophthalmology, Royal North Shore Hospital, New South Wales (2000–2006)
Head of Ophthalmology, Northern Sydney Area Health Service, New South Wales (2004–2006)
Performed live surgery at international ophthalmology meetings
Guest lecturer and keynote speaker at international ophthalmology meetings
Editor, editorial board member and reviewer for leading ophthalmology journals
Convenor of cataract and refractive surgery programs, Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (2009–2013)
Director, Australian Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (1999–present)
Consultant ophthalmologist for the Australian Defence Force
Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists
Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons
Fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (UK)
Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology
Dr Lawless has a strong track record of clinical research in corneal, refractive and cataract surgery. He has more than 110 publications in peer-reviewed journals. At present, Dr Lawless is the principal investigator for the AcrySof™ IQ Vivity™ comparative lens study and the Vivity registry study. He is also involved in clinical trials for intraocular lenses to correct presbyopia as well as research studies looking at trifocal intraocular lenses, and the progress of the clinical application of SMILE laser eye surgery.
Dr Lawless also served as principal investigator in the following clinical trials:
A Prospective, Randomised, Controlled, Proof of Concept Clinical Study for ACRYSOF IQ Achromatising Monofocal IOL in Cataract Patients (2012)
Visual Function Following Cataract Surgery in Monovision and Multifocal Patients (2011)
The Implantable Contact Lens for Myopia Study, taar, USA (2001–2002)
Conductive Keratoplasty for Hyperopia (as part of US FDA Submission) (1999–2000)
Refractive Laser Surgery for Myopia and Hyperopia (as part of Summit USA submission to US FDA) (1998–1999)
Community involvement & charitable work
Dr Lawless is the director of the Sydney University advanced fellowship in corneal, refractive and cataract surgery. He has developed a similar teaching programme with the LV Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad, India, and a similar course for ophthalmologists in China and Vietnam.
Cedric Cohen medal for first place in the RANZCO ophthalmology entrance examination
Independent Publishers Award for ‘The Naked Eye’, co-written with Professor Gerard Sutton (2014)
Senior Achievement Award (for services to education in ophthalmic surgery), American Academy of Ophthalmology (2012)
Founders Award, International Society of Refractive Surgery (2005)
Honour Achievement Award (for services to education in ophthalmic surgery), American Academy of Ophthalmology (1999)
President’s Award, All Indian Ophthalmology Society, Kolkata 2016
Education & training
Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery, University of Sydney, New South Wales
Ophthalmology training, Sydney Eye Hospital, New South Wales
Fellowship in corneal and external diseases, Flinders University, South Australia
Fellowship in corneal and refractive surgery, Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, New York, USA
Dr Lawless has a black belt in the Japanese martial arts, karate and aikido. He also enjoys yoga, golf and, most of all, spending time with his family.
The Naked Eye Book
A/Prof Michael Lawless and Prof Gerard Sutton have authored an award-winning book, The Naked Eye, which explains laser eye surgery in simple, easy-to-understand language. Readers will come away with a clear understanding of the surgical options available today that may allow them to see clearly with ‘the naked eye’. This book is the perfect introduction to modern laser eye surgery for anyone considering the alternatives to glasses and contact lenses, regardless of their age, occupation or understanding of science.
SMILE® is a registered trademark of Carl Zeiss Meditec
Lawless MA. Editor: A Chakrabarti. Publisher: Jaypee Bros Medical Publishers ISBN 9789351520924. Femtosecond Laser Cataract Surgery in Diseased Eyes. Pages: 180-189
Posterior Capsular Rupture: A Practical Guide to Prevention and Management.
Nagy ZZ, Lawless MA. Editor: A. Agarwal. Publisher: Slack Incorporated. ISBN 10 1-61711—071-X 2014. Chapter 14: Femtosecond Laser Refractive Cataract Surgery and Posterior Capsular Rupture.
Global Implications of Laser Cataract Surgery.
Lawless MA, Hodge C. Textbook of Laser Refractive Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery. Editors - Ronald R. Krueger, Jonathan H. Talamo, Richard L. Lindstrom. Springer; 2013 edition ISBN: 978-1-4614-1009-6. Pages 189-198
Phakic Posterior Chamber Lenses.
Lawless MA, Hodge C. Corneal Surgery – Theory, Technique and Tissue. Fourth Edition – Brightbill 2009. Mosby Elsevier. Chapter 100 pages 903-912.
Mastering Refractive IOLs – The Art and Science.
Lawless MA. Editor – David Chang. Laser Vision Correction after Multifocal Intraocular Lenses. Slack Inc. 2008
Microstriae: When to Treat and When Not to Treat.
Lawless MA. Refractive Surgery 2006 – Sub Specialty Day. American Academy of Ophthalmology 2006. Pages 98-99.
LASIK versus PRK.
Lawless MA, Hodge CB. Slack Inc. Editor Probst L. LASIK-Advances, Controversies and Custom. 2004. Pages 391-396.
Intralase: Is it best for LASIK?
Lawless MA, Hodge CB. Slack Inc. Editor Probst L. LASIK-Advances, Controversies and Custom. 2004. Pages 403-408.
Quality of vision after LASIK.
Lawless MA. Slack Inc. Editors Brint S, Burratto L. Custom LASIK: Surgical Techniques and Complications. Pages 484-488
Refractive Surgery 2001: New Horizons and New Options.
Lawless MA. American Academy of Ophthalmology. Complications of Hyperopic LASIK. Pages 145-151.
Post-operative Management and Complications of PRK.
Lawless MA. Proceedings of the 17th Congress of the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology 2001. Mosman Communications Inc ISBN 971-92355-0-0. Pages 880-883.
Visual Quality and Its Relevance to Refractive Surgery.
Lawless MA. Proceedings of the 17th Congress of the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology 2001. Mosman Communications Inc ISBN 971-92355-0-0. Pages 876-879.
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