FINALLY OUT INTO THE WORLD OF PRIVATE PRACTICE!
After my fellowship I was finally ready to start private practice. I had met my wife while in Minneapolis and together we moved to Denver, Colorado. I love the outdoors and my two biggest passions are mountain biking and skiing. Colorado allowed me to pursue both in some of the most beautiful mountains on the planet. I joined the Denver Eye Clinic and became an associate professor at the University of Colorado Department of Ophthalmology . After a year I also began to work at the Beyer LASER Center. It was there in Boulder, Colorado that I met Dr. Craig Beyer. Dr. Beyer is an amazing LASIK surgeon who has performed tens of thousands of LASIK cases. I spent time with him learning the “art” of LASIK and refractive surgery pearls.
Little did I know that there is an unspoken rule to marrying a Minnesota woman. You can leave for a while but you always return. My wife and I decided we were ready to start a family and with excitement for a new future we headed back to Minneapolis. I joined a small practice in the northern Minneapolis suburbs known as North Suburban Eye Specialists (NSES). At the time, NSES had only one tiny clinic. Yet it had fantastic technicians, a solid business staff, and a reputation for providing exceptional care to patients. It was led at the time by Dr. James Cameron who became a dear mentor and friend. We began to grow the clinic, expanding first into a clinic in Blaine followed later by a LASIK center and an ambulatory surgery center. Over the years we added new surgeons and new locations. We began to amass a reputation for great LASIK and cataract surgery. Later we merged with Edina Eye Physicians and Surgeons to create a new larger ophthalmology group, Twin Cities Eye Consultants (TCEC). I was the president of TCEC and the senior partner at NSES. I was the Medical Director of our ASC, North Metro Surgery Center. Yet I began to grow restless and I started to look for something new to pour my energy into.
In 2016 Alcon released a powerful new LASIK technology known as Contoura topography-guided LASIK . This technology gathered thousands of height data points on every cornea so the excimer laser could perfect the topography, the micro hills and valleys on each cornea. By correcting the patients’ refractive error (myopia and astigmatism) along with their topography, patients were achieving exceptional vision in the FDA study that brought US approval for Contoura. But, when Contoura was released to US surgeons the results they initially got from the technology were good but not great. It turns out that for the FDA study, only perfect corneas with little to no topographic irregularities were accepted. In the real world, only 10% of corneas match this high standard. It was at this point that I decided to step in and develop a novel new technology to assist surgeons in harnessing the full power of topography-guided LASIK. My new software was named Phorcides. Phorcides employs geographic imaging software to analyze the complex 3-dimensional topographic treatment planned for each eye. t then adds information from the anterior cornea, posterior cornea, and lens. Finally, it uses advanced vector mathematics and algorithms to deliver the best possible Contoura treatment for each eye. Slowly, surgeons across the US started using Phorcides to improve their LASIK patient’s outcomes. Next came surgeons in Europe, South America, Africa, Australia, and Asia. Phorcides is now the leading worldwide method for calculating Contoura LASIK treatments. It has been shown in multiple peer reviewed scientific publications to offer the best LASIK outcomes on the planet.
It was this collaboration between my company Phorcides and Alcon that spurred my desire to build a new Minneapolis eye clinic and vision surgery center. I wanted to build the world’s most advanced LASIK suite, showcasing Phorcides. I wanted to pair it with the first in-office cataract surgery center in Minnesota by partnering with iOR. I wanted the cataract surgery suite to feature new heads-up 3D displays for surgeons. In June of 2021 my second company, Lochan signed a global deal with Bausch and Lomb to create the world’s most advanced cloud-based cataract surgery platform. In short, I wanted to create something Minnesota had never seen, an advanced hub of innovation for eye care and surgery that would draw surgeons and industry leaders to Minneapolis for training. Thus, OVO LASIK + LENS was created. How did we choose the name OVO? That is a blog for another day. : )