Edward C. Lai, M.D.

Edward Lai

Welcome! When you visit our office at the Weill Cornell Medical Center, your eye health is my top priority. My entire team is dedicated to providing you with compassionate, personalized eye care. I am a true believer that excellence in performing eye care is derived from both education and experience.  My team and I strive to keep current on the latest techniques and standards so we can provide you with the best care and the most optimal results.  I offer a variety of general ophthalmology, cornea, and refractive surgery treatments to help restore and maintain your optimal vision health. Some of these eye care services include: comprehensive eye examinations, cataract surgery, LASIK surgery, corneal transplantation, treatment of various corneal diseases, and dry eye.  I never take for granted that you have placed a great deal of confidence in me and I look forward to meeting with you.

Dr. Edward C. Lai is a board certified ophthalmologist and an accomplished ocular surgeon.  After receiving his undergraduate degree with honors in Biology from Brown University, Dr. Lai attended Tufts University School of Medicine for his medical training. He then completed his internship in general surgery and internal medicine at the St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan and his residency in Ophthalmology at the Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital and New York University.  Following his residency, he performed additional advanced training in Corneal, Cataract, and Laser Vision Correction surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Lai is currently an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and serves as the Director of the Comprehensive Service. He is also an integral member of the cornea service.  His research has focused on ocular surface diseases and cataract surgery and has published peer-reviewed articles on the subjects.  Dr. Lai is a gifted educator and has an integral part in resident and medical student training. He has been awarded the resident teaching award on two occasions. He has also been an invited lecturer at the Harvard University intensive cataract course, and has also lectured internationally, most recently at the  American Austrian foundation Salzberg medical seminar and the Quatari Ophthalmology Conference on Ocular Trauma.  His practice interests include comprehensive ophthalmology, advanced corneal, cataract, and laser vision correction.


Insurance Plans Accepted

The following represents most of the managed care plans accepted by this physician. If your insurance carrier does not appear here please contact the physician’s office as they may have individual contracts not included on this site.

* indicates this physician is no longer accepting new patients with this insurance plan.

  • AETNA [Medicare]
  • Aetna - Weill Cornell [POS]
  • Blue Priority Network
  • Emblem Select Care
  • Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield [Pathway X]
  • Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield [PPO]
  • Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield [Pathway X Enhanced]
  • Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield [EPO]
  • Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield [Mediblue (Senior)]
  • Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield [HMO]
  • GHI [CBP]
  • Health Insurance Plan of NY (HIP) [Medicare]
  • Health Insurance Plan of NY (HIP)
  • Health Insurance Plan of NY (HIP) [Medicaid]
  • Health Republic
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • Oscar
  • Oxford Health Plans [Liberty]
  • Oxford Health Plans [Freedom]
  • Rockefeller University - CoreSource
  • UHC Compass
  • United Empire
  • United Health Care [Medicare]
  • United Health Care [Community Plan]
  • United Health Care




Lai E, Starr C. Managing Dry Eye Disease in the Cataract Patients. Diagnostics and Paradigms for Optimal Results. Cataract Refractive Surgery Today. Jan 2014


Lai E, Ciralsky, J. Curbside Consultation in Refractive and Lens Based Surgery: 49 Clinical questions. Chapter 25:  If the patient has had previous corneal refractive surgery, what type of IOL would you choose? Does it mater if it was previous myopic or hyperopic corneal refractive surgery?  SLACK Oct 2014


Ciralsky,  J,  Lai E. Tips for improving cataract outcomes. Ophthalmology Management. July 2013


Lai E, Levine B, Ciralsky J. Ultraviolet-blocking intra ocular lenses: fact or fiction. Current Opinion in   Ophthalmology. 2013.


Lai E. Optimizing the Diagnosis and Treatment of Pterygia. Refractive Eye Care. July 2010


Shammas M, Lai E, Sarkar J, Yang J, Starr C, Sippel K.  Management of Acute Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis Utilizing Amniotic Membrane and Topical Corticosteroids. American Journal of Ophthalmology. Feb 2009; 149(2): 203-213.


Sarkar J, Abbas N, Yang J, Lai E, Starr C.  INTACS for keratoconus. Contemporary Ophthalmology.  Dec 2009; 8(24): 1-8.


Lyu T, Lai E, Starr C.  Management of Intraoperative Floppy Iris syndrome.  Contemporary Ophthalmology. March 2009; 8:5:1-8.


Wollstein G, Schuman JS, Price L, Aydin A, Stark P, Hertzmark E, Lai E, Ishikawa H, Mattox C, Fujimoto J, Paunescu L.  Optical Coherence Tomography Longitudinal Evaluation of Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer Thickness in Glaucoma. Arch Ophthalmol. April 2005; 123: 464-470.


Lai E, Wollstein G, Price L, Paunescu L, Stark P, Fujimoto J, Schuman JS. Optical Coherence Tomography Disc Assessment in Optic Nerves with Peripapillary Atrophy.  Ophthalmic Surg, Lasers & Imaging. Nov-Dec 2003; 34(6): 498-504.





Lai E, Kanellopoulos AJ. Keratoconus management: Riboflavin / ultraviolet A-induced collagen cross-linking   followed by surface excimer ablation. ARVO 2007 Annual meeting.


Kazam T,  Lai E, Starr C.  The dark-apapted pupil diameter in determining scotopic pupil size before refractive surgery. ARVO 2007 Annual meeting.


Lai E, Kanellopoulos AJ, Pe L, Jankov M.  Is Wavefront-guided LASIK necessary for re-treatments? A comparison  of 65 wavefront-guided enhancements to 64 asphericity-adjusted enhancements. ARVO 2006 Annual meeting.