John W. Kitchens, MD

Dr. John W. Kitchens

John W. Kitchens, MD received his undergraduate degree from the University of Evansville, and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Indiana University School of Medicine. He served his ophthalmology residency at the University of Iowa Hospital. He completed his fellowship and was the Chief Resident at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami. Dr. Kitchens is listed in Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors, America’s Top Ophthalmologists and Best Doctors in America. He enjoys speaking both nationally and internationally about new treatments for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetes, and vascular disease. Dr. Kitchens has developed several innovative surgical techniques and has been awarded the American Society Retina Specialists “Rhett Buckler” Award on 3 different occasions. He is featured on the Discovery Channel’s Mystery Diagnosis. He is a National Board Examiner and is listed on the OSN Retina Top 150 Innovators in Medical Surgical Retina.

What led you to choose Retina Associates?

The reputation of RAK is what initially interested me in the practice. When I spoke with my mentors at both Iowa and Bascom Palmer, they were very familiar with the work of Drs. Wood, Isernhagen and Stone. With further research, it became apparent that this practice had what exactly what I was looking for:  physicians and staff with the best training, exceptional commitment to clinical research, and remarkable dedication to patient care… all in a great location that was close to our family.

What are your interests?

From a surgical standpoint, I really enjoy taking care of patients with retinal detachments and trauma cases. Both of these conditions require you to ‘think on your feet’ in the OR. No two cases are the same and each presents its own set of challenges. I like the fact that there is such a diverse way to approach and solve the problems that are presented in these types of cases.

What research are you currently working on?

One of the most exciting things about Retina Associates of Kentucky is our dedication to pursuing cutting edge research that is beneficial to both our current and future patients. Each physician at RAK is a principle investigator for multiple studies. We have a remarkable, dedicated research team led by Diana Holcomb. They go out of their way to accommodate our approved study patients and work hard to capture and deliver precise data that will impact the way we treat retinal disease in the future.  Currently, I am serving as principal investigator for three studies:  DAZZLE for wet AMD, PAGODA (Port Delivery System) for patients with diabetic macular edema, and SAGA, a study evaluating a novel treatment for geographic atrophy secondary to age-related macular edema.

What do you enjoy outside of medicine?

My first passion is traveling with my wife, Sarah, and our three children.  We enjoy active, adventurous trips that give me the opportunity to pursue my second passion — photography.  I have quickly become a “camera-file” and love finding new venues and settings to shoot.  I’m particularly fond of using drone cameras to capture stunning Kentucky sunrises over Lexington’s horse farms and bluegrass landscape.   If you look around our RAK offices, you might even find some of my work hanging on the walls.   

Links and Information on Dr. Kitchens

Dr. John Kitchens First in the World to Implant Genentech’s SUSVIMO Following FDA Approval
Angiogenesis 2021: Geographic Atrophy
Vitreous Opacities
Dr. Kitchens Interviews Dr. Stone on the COVID-19 Impact in Kentucky
Norlase Enters Ophthalmic Market With Launch of LEAF Ultra-Compact Green Laser Photocoagulator with insights from Dr. John Kitchens
Direct Perfluorocarbon-Silicone Oil Exchange with Dr. John Kitchens
Retina Night NYC
Dr. Kitchens shares the latest in OCT technology in our office 
Family Practice Interview
Dr. Kitchens Facts About Floaters
Everything you need to know about age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
Extreme Buckles, Chandeliers, and More with Dr. John Kitchens

Dr. Kitchens’ O-Web Profile
AAO Online Editor Profile
My EyeSmart Column
ASRS Profile
Retina CONNECT Network membership
Pearls in Ophthalmology Editor Page
Video done on technology for Medrounds
Eyetube Choroidal Drainage Video
Eyetube Extreme Buckling Video
Eyetube Transcleral Surgery Video
Eyetube: Editing Surgical Videos
Eyetube: Dual Chandelier Lighting
Commentary on the FDA approval of Lucentis for Diabetic Macular Edema
Vitrectomy Under Air
PVD Induction in a Difficult Hyaloid Case: Utilizing the Barbed Needle Technique
10 Pearls for Lensectomy
Retinal Physician Article on Ultrawidefield Imaging
Epiretinal Membrane Surgery
Vitrectomy for Floaters
OSN Retina 150
Macular Hole with Alcon Ngenuity
DRCRnet’s Protocol T study Review
3D Viewing Dr. Kitchens LIVE at the Lexington Surgery Center on Lex18

Meet John W. Kitchens, MD – Eye to Eye Video Interviews

Dr. Kitchens – “Retina Only”
Dr. Kitchens – “Educational Background Kitchens”
Dr. Kitchens – “Retina Conditions”
Dr. Kitchens – “Enjoy Outside”

Dr. Kitchens’ PubMed Publications

Observational study of subclinical diabetic macular edema
Modified External Needle Drainage of Subretinal Fluid in the Management of Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment Using a “Guarded Needle Approach
The vitreous trap: a simple, surgeon-controlled technique for obtaining undiluted vitreous and subretinal specimens during pars plana vitrectomy
Triamcinolone acetonide preparations: impact of crystal size on in vitro behavior
Retinal breaks observed during pars plana vitrectomy
Indocyanine green-assisted internal limiting membrane peeling for macular holes: toxicity?
Idiopathic macular hole with extensive subretinal fluid: clinical and optical coherence tomography features before and after surgery
Choroidal neovascularization after LASIK
The drawstring temporary tarsorrhaphy technique
Increasing paintball related eye trauma reported to a state eye injury registry

Retinal Physician Articles:

Using UWFA to help treat ocular inflammatory conditions
Moving beyond the “wow” factor
Implementation of UWFA
Emerging Role of Ultra Widefield Images for the Management of Retinal Diseases
Talking Tech

Retina Today Articles:

Management of Choroidal Detachments
Chandelier Illumination for VR Surgery
Extreme Buckling
Next Generation Machines for VR Surgery
Transcleral Surgery
Creating Quality Surgical Videos


1700 Winchester Avenue
Ashland, Kentucky 41101
Toll Free: (800) 627-2020
Phone: (859) 263-3900
Main Fax: (859) 263-3757
Scheduling Fax: (859) 264-2911


120 North Eagle Creek Drive
Suite 500
Lexington, Kentucky 40509
Toll Free: (800) 627-2020
Office: (859) 263-3900
Main Fax: (859) 263-3757
Scheduling Fax: (859) 264-2911


6450 Dutchman's Parkway
Louisville, Kentucky 40205
Toll Free: (800) 627-2020
Office: (502) 895-2600
Main Fax: (502) 895-4002
Scheduling Fax: (859) 264-2911

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