Dr Simon Dean

Cataract and Oculoplastic Surgeon

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Dr Simon Dean

Cataract and Oculoplastic Surgeon

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“What I enjoy about eye surgery, is it one of the only branches of medicine where we get to actually fix things – a cataract can never grow back!”

– Dr Simon Dean, BHB MBChB

Dr Simon Dean’s professional background

Discover more about this New Zealand eye expert below

Dr. Dean’s warm, down-to-earth manner belies a steely determination to provide the very best care to his patients. He can offer a tailored solution for cataracts and the latest in surgical and non-surgical techniques of vision correction, including premium intraocular lenses and corneal collagen crosslinking for keratoconus.

Dr Dean also has advanced training in functional and cosmetic eyelid surgery. With a background in general ophthalmology, he combines this experience to provide the best treatment options for each individual.

After attending Tauranga Boys’ College, Dr Dean attended and graduated from the University of Auckland Medical School in 1997. Dr Dean then undertook junior doctor work in Tauranga Hospital before working as a research fellow in the University of Auckland ophthalmology department. He then secured a position on the RANZCO training scheme.

After completing ophthalmic training in Auckland, Simon undertook advanced subspecialist fellowship training in the UK and Scotland. He spent time in Glasgow, Moorfields Bedford, and Birmingham, concentrating on oculoplastics and ocular oncology, and complex anterior segment / corneal surgery and cataracts

Training and principal qualifications:
  • BHB (Auckland) 1993
  • MBChB (Auckland) 1997
  • Fellow – Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists 2007
  • Fellow – British Contact Lens Association 2008
  • Registration with NZMC and GMC

Dr Dean works best with the anterior ocular structures (front of the eye). He has full general ophthalmology training and subspecialist training in Oculoplastics (plastic surgery of the lids, both functional and cosmetic) and anterior segment surgery (complex cataracts and corneal surgery, including minimally invasive pterygium surgery).

Dr Dean’s specialisations include:
  • Pterygium Surgery
  • Functional and cosmetic eye surgery
  • Cataract Surgery

Simon has many hobbies and interests.

Photography started his passion for optics and ophthalmology.

Music keeps him busy – playing electric bass in a funk band, snare drum for the City of Auckland Pipe Band, drum kit in origiNZ, and double bass (when he has time) in the Auckland Symphony Orchestra.

Both his two boys play the pipes and drums. This has taken them to exciting places, playing together in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and the huge Festival Interceltique. He also enjoys dabbling in optoelectronics and has a knack for inventing and building ophthalmic devices to fit niche research areas and markets.

Simon is married to Professor Jennifer Craig, who specialises in ocular surface and dry eye research.

Dr Dean has published many papers internationally and is an inventor/designer of ophthalmic instruments. He brought corneal collagen crosslinking to New Zealand and manufactured (with his brother – an electronic engineer) the first cross-linking devices in the country to bring the sight-saving treatment to young patients with keratoconus. Many of these SDZ-CXL machines are still in use in the public health system in NZ, making this treatment free to NZ citizens. He has designed and built a non-contact corneal aesthesiometer for research use.

In addition, Dr Dean has co-founded an internationally-based company, Photon Therapeutics Ltd for another invention of his, the patented UVC device to treat corneal infections with gentle light treatment rather than chemicals/drops. This UVC device was awarded the prestigious ASCRS winning pitch challenge winner 2020.

Dr Dean is currently pursuing gentle ultraviolet light to eradicate microbes (bacteria, fungi, and viruses) from the eye safely. He also is active as a reviewer for scientific journals and collaborator in research projects.

With his unique and engaging teaching style, Simon is actively sought for speaking engagements. He has been the invited speaker at several national and international conferences.

Dr Dean has to date 17 publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Membership to Professional Societies:
  • Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society (TFOS, USA)
  • British Contact Lens Association (BCLA, UK)
  • Cornea and Contact Lens Society (CCLS, NZ)
  • General Medical Council (GMC, UK)
  • New Zealand Medical Council (NZMC, NZ)
Dr Dean performs the following treatments:
  • Cataract surgery
  • Refractive lens exchange surgery – aiming to increase spectacle independence
  • Pterygium surgery with glue
  • Lid tumour excisions and lid reconstruction
  • Lid lump and bumps
  • Blepharoplasty
  • Glaucoma treatment: Laser iris iridotomy, SLT and trabeculectomy- all for glaucoma