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.
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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
Accredited by: American Board of Ophthalmology*
Why It Matters: Dr. Heichel's Board Certifications
Board certification should be one of your top considerations when choosing a doctor. Board certification is an official recognition given to doctors who have met specific requirements set by national medical specialty boards in the United States.
Board certification indicates that a doctor is highly qualified in the medical field in which he or she practices. A board-certified doctor is more likely than a non-board-certified doctor to have the most current skills and knowledge about how to treat your medical condition.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
All Headaches (incl. Migraine)
Aphakia and Other Disorders of Lens
Benign Neoplasm of Choroid
Benign Neoplasm of Eye
Blind Hypotensive Eye
Blocked Tear Duct
Contusion of the Eyeball
Corneal Abrasion or Laceration
Degenerative Disorders of Globe
Drooping Eyelids (Ptosis)
Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Foveal and-or Macular Hypoplasia
Fuchs' Corneal Dystrophy
Hypotony of Eye
Malignant Neoplasm of Eye
Progressive High Myopia
Retinal Detachment and Retinal Tear
Retinal Vein Occlusion
Tear Duct Disorders
Uveitis and Iridocyclitis
Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (ALK)
Cataract Removal Surgery
Excision or Destruction of Lesion of Cornea
Extraocular Muscle Surgery
Foreign Body Removal from Eye
Intracorneal Ring (ICR)
Ocular Surface Reconstruction
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)
0 Malpractice Claims
No malpractice history found for California.
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice is issued when negligence by a doctor causes injury to a patient. For example, a doctor may improperly diagnose, treat or medicate outside the standard of medical care. The three types of malpractice are: a settlement, an arbitration award, or a judgment.
If my doctor has malpractice history, does that mean he or she is a poor-quality doctor?
If your doctor has a malpractice claim, evaluate the information and determine if the action could potentially impact the quality of care you receive. Claim settlements and arbitration awards may occur for a variety of reasons, which should not necessarily reflect negatively on the doctor's professional competence or conduct. You may want to use this information to start a discussion with the doctor about his or her history and specific ability to provide healthcare for you.
How far back does Healthgrades malpractice history go?
Healthgrades reports details of a doctor’s malpractice history when the doctor has at least one closed medical malpractice claim within the last five years, even if he or she no longer practices in that state.
For which states does Healthgrades collect malpractice history?
Healthgrades collects malpractice information from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. If your doctor has a malpractice claim, evaluate the information and determine if the action could potentially impact your quality of care. Sometimes multiple states report the same claim. If a provider practices in a state where data is unavailable, please reach out to your local state legislature to help make this data publicly available.
No sanctions history found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.
What is a sanction or disciplinary action?
A sanction, also known as a disciplinary action, is an action taken to punish or restrict a doctor who has demonstrated professional misconduct. Sanctions may be imposed by a state medical board, professional medical licensing organization, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
If my doctor has sanction history, does that mean he or she is a poor-quality doctor?
If a doctor has a sanction, it does not necessarily mean that he or she is a poor-quality doctor. Some sanctions are not related to medical care, and involve a doctor’s finances or administrative activities. Before you make any choices about changing your doctor, we recommend that you evaluate the doctor’s sanction information and determine how severe or relevant you think the sanction cause and action were.
How far back does Healthgrades sanction history go?
Healthgrades reports state and federal sanctions from the previous five years, except when a doctor's license has been revoked or surrendered. Healthgrades displays all actions for doctors whose licenses have been revoked or surrendered.
For which states does Healthgrades collect sanction history?
Healthgrades collects sanction history from all 50 U.S. states. Physicians with a disciplinary action in one state may move to another state where they have a clean record. Since Healthgrades painstakingly compiles disciplinary action information from all 50 states, Healthgrades website will show if a physician has a disciplinary action in more than one state.
0 Board Actions
No board actions found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.
What are board actions?
Board actions are non-disciplinary actions imposed upon a doctor based on a complaint investigation. A patient or medical colleague may file a complaint with that state medical board or professional licensing organization, which then investigates the complaint. Board actions are intended to ensure that a doctor is able to perform safe medical and health care tasks.
Types of non-disciplinary actions include an advisory letter, a corrective action agreement, a limitation or restriction on the medical or healthcare tasks a doctor can perform, or a voluntary agreement by the doctor not to practice. A board action can also include a termination of a corrective action agreement or voluntary agreement, which allows the doctor to return to full practice.
If my doctor has a board action, does that mean he or she is a poor-quality doctor?
If a doctor has a board action, it means he or she has had a non-disciplinary action imposed upon him or her. It does not necessarily mean that he or she is a poor quality doctor. Before you make any choices about changing your doctor, evaluate the doctor's board action information and determine how severe or relevant you think the cause and action were.
How far back does Healthgrades non-disciplinary board action history go?
Healthgrades reports non-disciplinary board action history from for the previous five years, except when a doctor's license has been revoked or surrendered. Healthgrades displays all actions for doctors whose licenses have been revoked or surrendered.
For which states does Healthgrades collect non-disciplinary board actions?
Healthgrades collects non-disciplinary board actions from all 50 U.S. states.
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.
Awards & Recognition
What is a recognized doctor?
Healthgrades Recognized Doctor designation identifies leading doctors who:
Are board certified.
Have not had their license surrendered or revoked since Healthgrades started collecting data in 2000.
Have no malpractice judgments, adverse arbitration awards, or monetary settlements for the last five years in the states in which Healthgrades can collect malpractice data.
Are free of state or federal disciplinary actions (sanctions) for the last five years.
Healthgrades updates the Recognized Doctor list quarterly based on board certification data. Healthgrades also receives sanction and malpractice data throughout the year, depending on how frequently the state medical boards release updates.
We remove a newly sanctioned doctor from the Recognized Doctor list as soon as we receive the information. However, it is important to note that malpractice information is publically available in only 14 states.
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.