Dr. Christopher Heichel, MD

Ophthalmology  |  
Male  |  
Age 46
Insurances AcceptedSave
Dr. Christopher Heichel, MD
Chris W. Heichel, MD serves as Associate Clinical Professor of Cornea, Cataract and Refractive Surgery in the Department of Ophthalmology at UC San Diego, Shiley Eye Institute. He is considered a skilled surgeon, astute clinician and a dedicated educator. Dr. Heichel graduated UC San Diego undergraduate with Honors including the Howard Hughes Research Fellowship Award. He completed medical school in Chicago with Honors as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Society. He returned to the University of California, San Diego to complete his residency, where he served as Chief Resident, as well as a Fellowship in Cornea, External Diseases and Refractive Surgery. He joined the faculty at UC San Diego in 2004 where he is currently a board certified ophthalmologist specializing in Cornea, Cataract and Refractive Surgery. Dr. Heichel has spent the majority of his career dedicating himself to his patients. He enjoys challenging cataract, and anterior segment cases including traumatic cataracts, pediatric cataracts, subluxed lenses, dislocated intraocular lenses, and iris reconstruction cases. He has extensive experience in complex Cornea cases. He is well versed in a breadth of keratoplasty techniques including DSAEK, DALK, PKP, KPRO and limbal stem cell transplantation. He takes a special interest in treating ocular surface tumors. He practices the most advanced laser refractive surgery techniques for LASIK and PRK, as well as phakic intraocular lenses like the Visian ICL, INTACS and corneal cross-linking. For the last six years, Dr. Heichel has been recognized as one of America’s Top Doctors, and America’s Top Ophthalmologists. Additionally, he is named as one of “US News & World Report’s" Top Doctors. Finally, Dr. Heichel devotes much of his time teaching, and training fellows, residents and medical students. He enjoys this particular challenge almost as much as patient care, and has received the Teacher of the Year Award on numerous occasions.

UC San Diego Health

9300 Campus Point Dr

La Jolla, CA 92037

Contact Information

(858) 657-7000

Dr. Christopher Heichel, MD

Dr. Christopher Heichel, MD

Accepted insurance

  • Aetna
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of California
  • Cigna
  • First Health (Coventry Health Care)
  • Molina Healthcare
  • MultiPlan

*Please verify this information when scheduling an appointment.

Learn about Dr. Heichel

Dr. Heichel's Experience

Dr. Heichel's experience matches your search based on the following criteria:
  • Based on total number of patients treated over the last 12 months
  • Specializes in Ophthalmology
  • Board certified in Ophthalmology
  • No malpractice claims found
  • No sanctions found
  • No board actions found


  • Ophthalmology

Board Certifications

  • Ophthalmology
    Accredited by: American Board of Ophthalmology*

Conditions Treated

  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration
  • All Headaches (incl. Migraine)
  • Aphakia and Other Disorders of Lens
  • Astigmatism
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Benign Neoplasm of Choroid
  • Benign Neoplasm of Eye
  • Benign Tumor
  • Blepharitis
  • Blind Hypotensive Eye
  • Blindness
  • Blocked Tear Duct
  • Brain Disorders
  • Cancer
  • Cataract
  • Chorioretinitis
  • Conjunctival Hemorrhage
  • Contusion of the Eyeball
  • Corneal Abrasion or Laceration
  • Corneal Diseases
  • Corneal Ulcer
  • Degenerative Disorders of Globe
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Diplopia
  • Drooping Eyelids (Ptosis)
  • Drusen
  • Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration
  • Dry Eyes
  • Endophthalmitis
  • Esotropia
  • Exotropia
  • Eye Cancer
  • Eye Infections
  • Eyelid Disorders
  • Foveal and-or Macular Hypoplasia
  • Fuchs' Corneal Dystrophy
  • Glaucoma
  • Hypertropia
  • Hyphema
  • Hypotony of Eye
  • Iridocyclitis
  • Keratitis
  • Keratoconus
  • Lazy Eye
  • Macular Edema
  • Macular Hole
  • Malignant Neoplasm of Eye
  • Marfan Syndrome
  • Migraine
  • Nearsightedness
  • Nystagmus
  • Pars Planitis
  • Pinguecula
  • Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis)
  • Presbyopia
  • Progressive High Myopia
  • Pterygium
  • Purulent Endophthalmitis
  • Retina Diseases
  • Retinal Detachment and Retinal Tear
  • Retinal Vein Occlusion
  • Senile Cataracts
  • Sympathetic Uveitis
  • Tear Duct Disorders
  • Temporal Arteritis
  • Trichiasis
  • Ulcer
  • Uveitis and Iridocyclitis
  • Vascular Disease
  • Vitreous Hemorrhage
  • Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration


Read More


  • Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (ALK)
  • Anterior Vitrectomy
  • Blepharorrhaphy
  • Cataract Removal Surgery
  • Conjunctivoplasty
  • Coreoplasty
  • Cornea Surgery
  • Cornea Transplant
  • Excision or Destruction of Lesion of Cornea
  • Extraocular Muscle Surgery
  • Eye Surgery
  • Eyelid Surgery
  • Foreign Body Removal from Eye
  • Glaucoma Surgery
  • Intracorneal Ring (ICR)
  • Iridectomy
  • Ocular Prosthetics
  • Ocular Surface Reconstruction
  • Pterygium Surgery
  • Relaxing Incisions, Corneal
  • Removal of Foreign Body from External Eye
  • Repair of Retinal Detachment or Retinal Tear
  • Scleral Reinforcement Surgery
  • Vitrectomy (incl. Macular Hole Repair)
  • Vitreoretinal Surgery

Background Check

0 Malpractice Claims

No malpractice history found for California.

0 Sanctions

No sanctions history found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.

0 Board Actions

No board actions found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.


  • Chicago Medical School
    Medical School | Graduated 1999
  • University Of California San Diego
    Residency Hospital | Completed
  • University Of California San Diego
    Fellowship Hospital | Completed

Awards & Recognition

Awards & Honors
  • Healthgrades Honor Roll
Media & Publications

Dr. Heichel has no media or publications listed.

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Spanish

Memberships & Professional Affiliations

Dr. Heichel does not have any memberships or affiliations listed. If you are Dr. Heichel and would like to add memberships or affiliations, please update your profile.

Dr. Heichel's Reviews

Likelihood of recommending Dr. Heichel to family and friends
based on 7 total reviews (1 with a comment)
Dr. Heichel's Performance
  • Trustworthiness
  • Explains condition(s) well
  • Answers Questions
  • Time well spent
Office & Staff Performance
  • Scheduling
  • Office environment
  • Staff friendliness
  • Average wait time
    31 to 45 minutes
Patient Comments (1)
in San Diego, CA |
Dr Heichel has been our eye doctor for over 15 years. He is SMART, thorough, knowledgeable, patient, even though it is obvious he is overworked! He has "saved our eyes" on numerous occasions..my husband had cancer in his eye, I had a minuscule shard in my eye, my husband had cataract surgery in both eyes; couldn't have had a better ophthalmologist . Wait times are very long but we are willing to put up with that because we know that when it is our turn, he takes his time with us.
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Now Accepting New Patients
Dr. Heichel accepts 7 insurance carriers
  • Aetna
    Choice Plus POS II
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
    Blue Card PPO
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of California
    Advantage Preferred DirectAccess Plus PPO
    Blue Cross Blue Shield of California PPO
    Select Plus HMO
  • Cigna
    Cigna HMO
    Cigna PPO
    Open Access Plus
  • First Health (Coventry Health Care)
    First Health (Coventry Health Care) PPO
  • Molina Healthcare
  • MultiPlan
    MultiPlan PPO
    PHCS Network PPO

*Please verify this information when scheduling an appointment.

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