Ali Tabassian, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Tabassian specializes in ophthalmology, specifically in the diagnosis and treatment of retina and vitreous diseases.


Dr. Tabassian received a Bachelor of Science and a Ph.D. with honors from George Washington University. He earned his M.D. with honors at the Medical College of Virginia. After his internship, Dr. Tabassian returned to the Medical College of Virginia for residency in ophthalmology. A fellowship in vitreo-retinal diseases at the prestigious University of Iowa followed. He is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.


Dr. Ali Tabassian returned to Richmond in 1996 after his internship, and became an assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at the Medical College of Virginia. Since establishing the Retina Institute of Virginia, PLLC, Dr. Tabassian has continued to be active in teaching at the Medical College of Virginia. He is a fellow of the American Board of Ophthalmology and is an active member of the Virginia Society of Ophthalmology and Vitreous Society.


Dr. Tabassian's areas of expertise include retinal detachments, retinal vascular diseases, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.

Personal Profile

Dr. Tabassian lives in Richmond with his wife and three children.


2019 MEDARVA Patient Choice Award

2019 Patient Choice Award


The following procedures are performed by this doctor.

Age related macular degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration rarely causes blindness, but can cause permanent loss of your central vision making it difficult to see near and far. Age-related macular degeneration is a breakdown of the eye's macula, which is located in the retina.

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy can lead to severe vision loss and in extreme cases, blindness. Diabetic retinopathy damages the blood vessels in the retina. It typically affects both eyes and occurs in people with Type I and Type II diabetes.

Dry eye/tear solutions

Tears lubricate and protect your eyes and help maintain clear vision. When too few or poor quality tears are produced, dry eye occurs, causing a gritty, uncomfortable feeling, with blurriness and a feeling of something lodged in the eye.

Flashes of light and floaters

Floaters are small specks that move in and out of your field of vision. They are typically more noticeable when looking at a plain background, such as a white wall. Floaters are tiny clumps of cells or materials that are inside the clear, gel-like fluid that fills the inside of your eye. When this gel pulls on the retina, a person may see flashing lights or lightning streaks - these are flashes.

Retinal detachment

Retinal detachment occurs when the retina becomes separated from the underlying supporting tissues. This is a very serious condition, and can cause severe or even permanent vision loss. When the retina becomes detached, it is unable to properly function.