Customer Service

Phillips Eye Institute and Minneapolis Eye Surgery

The mission of an eye institute is to prolong and protect the vision of local citizens by conducting and performing research into treating and preventing diseases that affect the eye or vision–this is the Phillips Eye Institute.

phillips eye institute

Phillips Eye Institute and eye surgery in Minneapolis

Claris Eye Care & Surgery is one of Minneapolis’s largest providers of vision and eye care services and we are committed to treating the eye care needs of patients of all ages. We are a unique ophthalmic specialty center that offers a united mission to help our patients address health concerns related to their eyes. Our uniquely placed offices- right next door to the Phillips Eye Institute- and our extensive services are all incorporated into a patient-focused care experience.

The Phillips Eye Institute

Dr. Carlson performs all eye surgery procedures exclusively at the highly specialized Phillips Eye Institute in Minnesota. From around the corner to around the world people come to the Phillips Eye Institute for an array of services, from diagnostic tests and vision rehabilitation to laser eye treatments and specialized laser eye surgery using the latest technology like the femtosecond laser.

Phillips Eye Institute, the product of a creative vision of many people put together, was designed to function as a freestanding eye specialty center associated with Mount Sinai Medical Center. Developed by and for ophthalmologists. The dream of this unique facility was realized in large part thanks to Jay Phillips who was the main benefactor of Mount Sinai Hospital and a strong supporter of Mount Sinai’s Division of Ophthalmology. It is because of his generous philanthropic support that The Phillips Eye Institute bears his name. Continue Reading…

Minneapolis, Fend off Crow’s Feet with SkinMedica® and Botox


Say Goodbye to Crow’s Feet

The wrinkles in the outer corners of the eyes can flatteringly be called “laugh lines” or “character lines,” but it’s their other name – crow’s feet – that seems to better describe them. While their resemblance to the real thing is uncanny, those pesky wrinkles may have actually been named after an embroidery stitch in the form of a filled triangle.

Interestingly, a Crow’s Foot stitch is often used in tailoring to strengthen a garment at a point of strain. Unfortunately, crow’s feet wrinkles signal that the fragile, thin skin around our eyes has lost strength. They reflect hours, days and years of regular strain – the inevitable signs of aging. Continue Reading…

A Vision for You: Best Doctor Dr. Keith Carlson in Minneapolis

best doctor

Dr. Carlson of Claris Eye Care & Surgery in Minneapolis

Whether on the lookout for a doctor in Minneapolis for laser vision correction such as LASIK or PRK, cataract treatment, or other laser eye surgery, Dr. Keith Carlson is the best doctor out there! Dr. Carlson is considered one of the best ophthalmic physicians in the nation receiving a variety of honors including being listed by Best Doctors* and selected as a “Top Doc” by Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine for a third year.

The Claris Vision

A visionary is described as someone being marked by foresight and imagination. Being tapped into the trends of modern medicine, Dr. Carlson felt that many aspects of patient care were being lost, and he had a vision for a new and improved quality eye care practice. Claris Eye Care & Surgery, owned and operated by Dr. Keith Carlson, was established in 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and was created to bring a renewed focus on patient needs and care. Continue Reading…

Raise Your Vision Awareness: Understanding Macular Degeneration

Affecting an estimated 11 million people in the US alone, macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of vision loss in adults over 50, so February is dedicated to raising awareness about this serious vision problem – what it is, what causes it, and what treatments are available.

What is macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is the result of damage to the macula, a small spot near the center of the retina (the retina is located at the back of the eye). This highly sensitive spot is made up of millions of light-sensing cells that are responsible for clear, sharp central vision enabling us to see things straight ahead. As damage occurs, you may experience a blank spot, blurriness, or distorted vision in the center of your visual field.

Progression of the disease varies, and though macular degeneration doesn’t lead to total blindness, loss of central vision can severely impair your ability to do even everyday activities like read, write, drive, cook, and clearly see faces.

Types of AMD

  • Dry AMD, or atrophic AMD, refers the breakdown (or atrophy) of the macula. It comprises 90% of AMD cases.
  • Wet AMD affects far fewer people. Damage is caused by the membrane under the retina thickening then breaking, disrupting the oxygen supply to the macula and causing the growth of new, abnormal blood vessels.

What causes macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration is often simply the result of aging, though some people are more at risk than others. It is more common among Caucasians, and family history of AMD increases risk. Research has found links between certain lifestyle choices, such as smoking, and increased risk of AMD.

Treating Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Is laser eye surgery an option for stopping or reversing macular degeneration?

Unfortunately, there is currently no specific treatment for dry AMD. Progression can be slowed from intermediate-stage dry AMD to advanced stage by taking a specific, high-dose vitamin and mineral supplement.

Wet macular degeneration can be treated with laser eye surgery as a means to stop blood or other fluids from leaking into the macula. Wet AMD can also be treated with medication that is injected into the eye.

Will laser eye surgery be a permanent solution for wet AMD?

The laser-treated blood vessels will be permanently sealed; however, this does not prevent new spots from beginning to leak.

Minneapolis Leaders in Vision Correction and Laser Eye Surgery

Eyes are your windows to the world, but time can slowly take a toll on your vision. If you aren’t vigilant or don’t take your eye health seriously, you run the risk of developing both permanent damage to your eyes and vision loss.

Minneapolis is home to Claris Eye Care & Surgery, an ophthalmic office dedicated to helping patients have the best vision possible. Dr. Carlson and the Claris ophthalmic team are highly knowledgeable and experienced in treating people suffering from AMD and other vision problems, including:

Dr. Carlson and the Claris team can help you understand AMD and your treatment options. Treatment is a process of regular office visits to monitor your vision and addressing changes, and between visits, you can test your central vision at home using the Amsler grid – any blurriness or distortion in the lines can indicate a progression in your AMD. With AMD and all eye health issues, being proactive is important.

Twenty years of experience in laser eye surgery and other vision correction procedures make Claris and Dr. Carlson the best choice in Minneapolis for your eye health and vision care. If you have any questions or concerns about your vision – from macular degeneration to cataracts or LASIK laser eye surgery, feel free to call the Claris office at 612.775.8009 or email at

Look Out Minnesota! At Claris, LASIK is better than ever

In Minneapolis, for the best quality eye care, the best customer service and the top eye surgeon in the state of Minnesota for LASIK, you need not look any further- Claris Eye Care & Surgery stands alone.

Thanks to the Internet and readily available information at our fingertips, we can now research the best possible person to go to for all of our health needs and issues. Look up Dr. Carlson and Claris Eye Care & Surgery and you will see numerous accreditations, amazing referrals and background information pertaining to why Claris is the best choice for LASIK in Minneapolis.

LASIK With Dr. Keith Carlson

Recently a friend who lives in the northwest region of the U.S. asked me if I knew of a trusted, qualified and experienced LASIK surgeon I could recommend. I said of course, Dr. Keith Carlson is highly recognized as one of the best!

After going online and spending probably too much time obsessing, (the internet is great for that), my friend called me back and said Dr.Keith Carlson - minneapolis, st. paul lasik eye surgeon“ Wow, Dr. Carlson and Claris is hands down looking like the best place for me to go for my LASIK”.

Dr. Keith Carlson created his own practice, Claris Eye Care & Surgery, to bring a renewed focus on patient needs and care. Since it’s inception, every day, every step has been taken to insure they follow through in their mission to “ Improve Vision and Promote Healing”.

What brings loyal patients and referrals in to Claris is the incredible training, experience, accomplishments, and accolades of Dr. Keith Carlson. For nearly 20 years, thousands of patients have trusted Dr. Carlson with their eyes. He is a Mayo Clinic trained and board-certified ophthalmologist. Dr. Carlson was among the first to work in laser vision correction, having begun before the opening of today’s mega-surgery centers. He is one of the most highly experienced vision correction specialists in the region. Thousands of pairs of Minnesota eyes see better today because of his abilities. Dr. Carlson holds a long list of certifications, including LASIK, LASEK, VISX, Custom Wavefront Laser Vision Correction, and small incision multi-focal intraocular lens surgery with ReSTOR and ReZoom IOLs.

The Best LASIK At Claris

Why choose LASIK at Claris? One of the many features that makes Claris the best choice for LASIK in the Minneapolis/ St. Paul region is the VISX STAR S4 IR- the most advanced laser technology available today. Used exclusively at Phillips Eye Institute, this Wave Scan based digital technology identifies and measures imperfections in your eyes 25 times more precisely than standard methods.

Wondering how to make LASIK an affordable option? Money shouldn’t be the reason you’re putting off having the iLASIK Procedure. Always look at what is included in the price and the reputation of the doctor and medical facility.  At Claris, you are getting the most experienced, technologically advanced and fully inclusive care in the Minneapolis & St. Paul area. Financing is available, and NOW you can also see better and save money. Here’s how:

  • Claris Eye Care and Surgery can help you with financing through Care Credit, and many times the payments can be as low as $93 a month (*Based on $3.900 fees at 14.9% APR over 60 months.)
  • When we surveyed consumers, they admitted that they were confused about the pricing of laser vision correction surgery; what’s more, they were suspicious about advertisements that touted “on sale” LASIK.
  • A few facts about the iLASIK Procedure:
    • A customized procedure as advanced as the iLASIK Procedure typically cannot be done for $500
    • Your iLASIK Procedure fees will typically range between $2,000 to $3,000 per eye, or on average $5,000 per individual
    • This price usually includes all of the pre-surgery evaluation and post-surgery follow-up exams

Like CLARIS EYE CARE & SURGERY on FB, follow them on Twitter or review them on Yelp & receive $200 off per eye on Laser Vision Correction!

(Allina employee discount, save $500 per eye on LVC; Military and MERSC Employees discount, save $300 per eye on LVC)

ADDED BONUS!!! Share your experience on Yelp for Claris Eye Care and surgery you can win a $50 gift card at the end of August.

The reviews are in and with 100% patient satisfaction

For convenience, comfort and better vision, call Claris today to find out about the best LASIK in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. At Claris, your choice is 612.775.8009.

It’s About Time, Book your Eye Consultation Today!

We live in an extremely “Time” obsessed culture…
“ What time is it? ”
“ We’re running out of time! ”
“ Time is money! ”
“ Time flies! “

eye consultation

Worrying about time and being “ time efficient ” are two totally different things. We’ve all found ourselves saying, “Hey, it’ll kill two birds with one stone” (another time obsessed statement btw) and being genuinely excited because this usually means more outcome for less effort.

When going to most doctors’ offices for a consultation, like most of you I have found that it is only a very cursory discussion of what might be some options for whatever is going on with my health. I then have to return for a “real” exam, and then usually tons of follow up tests etc… only to find that after the procedure is done, I end up back in the doctors office many times for a multitude of reasons!

However, at Claris, Dr. Carlson spends more time UPFRONT during eye consultations and with diagnostic testing to insure that they achieve the very best surgical outcomes! And Claris has the success rates to prove it.

Talk about saving time- and money… And more importantly than all of that: peace of mind.

For the most part, surgeons and doctors seem cold or distant, reserved and uncaring- which is ironic because their job is to take care of us and make us well. But we just assume this is what is required for them to do their job…

Until we meet someone like Dr. Carlson!

Dr. Carlson is compassionate, sincere, kind and hospitable. Not only does he answer all of his surgical patients questions during consultations- with no rushing or time constraints!- but he encourages patients to call or email him after they’ve been to see him, should they have any follow up questions.

Any other doctor I’ve been to has always seemed annoyed and busy when I’ve had to get in touch with them about something important. Yet, when having a surgical procedure done with Dr. Carlson, there is no fear that you will be disturbing or bothering him, as there is with most doctors. Dr. Carlson even calls all of his surgical patients the night of their surgery to see how they are doing and find out if they have any questions for him. And he makes it clear to surgical patients that if they have any questions or concerns about their post operative vision that they should call or email him evenings and/or weekends.

I found assurance, serenity and a better way to see things more clearly when I found Claris.

It’s about time you did too, Call us  to book your eye consultation today!

Dr. Carlson: The Minneapolis Eye Care Expert

The word ‘Experienced’ is defined as “having become skillful or knowledgeable from extensive contact, observation or participation in something”;
And the word ‘Expert’ is defined as a “person wise through experience”.

It is no secret that Minneapolis eye care expert, Dr. Carlson, routinely performs laser vision correction procedures and cataract surgery (with and without multi focal lenses), in addition to both upper and lower blepharoplasty procedures. But what you might not know is that during the span of his career, Dr. Carlson has skillfully completed more than 10,000 surgeries and procedures! Not too many people can use the expression that they’ve done something “ A thousand times” – and mean it literally.

When it comes to choosing a surgeon for an upcoming procedure I think everyone would agree that they would want THE most experienced doctor they could find, someone who has countless experiences doing the same procedure over and over again. Certainly confidence is garnered with each additional successful surgery. Knowing your surgeons experience will undoubtedly help you in the decision making process, as surgical volume is a strong predictor of patient outcome.

Thanks to technological advances, cataract surgery is now one of the most common surgical procedure performed in medicine today. However it requires incisions and therefore a high degree of precision, dexterity and skill. And blepharoplasty requires trimming sagging skin and muscle and removing excess fat. So, in effect, it doesn’t matter as much what type of laser or equipment your surgeon is using, as it does the way in which they are using it. And in Dr. Carlson’s case, it is with masterful proficiency that comes from experience and expertise.

Statistics show that doctors who are considered “ high volume ” surgeons, such as Dr. Carlson, have lower complication rates, less need for follow up or revision surgeries and that their patients stay in the hospital for shorter amounts of time than “ low volume” surgeons.

In addition to feeling comfortable with Dr. Carlson and having all your questions answered, you will feel confident in knowing that he routinely performs your specific surgery and is always on the cutting edge of technology, (pun intended!),using the best, latest and safest techniques. You will be thrilled with the results…10,000 times over!

Claris: At the Forefront of Eye Care Technology

There is an urgent need for improved healthcare in this country and one of the places to start is by taking advantage of the computer age and recent trends in technical knowledge.

Having the most experienced, expert doctor -of any kind- wouldn’t mean much if they were not concerned with the value in continuing to learn about new techniques and staying abreast of current trends, resources and information. The team at Claris Eye Care & Surgery believe it’s possible to transform healthcare through the use of innovative eye care technology.

eye care technology

Integration, in terms of healthcare is a concept which partners inputs, delivery, organization and management of services, in relation to diagnosis, treatment, care and health promotion. At Claris, being at the forefront of medical technology means to improve services in relation to quality care, access, efficiency and patient satisfaction.

Here are some of the ways in which Claris makes it easier for patients to save time, energy and money by implementing the latest technological devices and strategies:

An online patient portal, with NextMD you can access & request personal information from Claris, receive lab results within days of testing, request & confirm appointments, request medication refills, and receive many other documents, notifications & information specifically tailored to you and your condition.

Getting medical records and forms signed electronically has never been so easy- better late than never right? DocuSign supports all main file formats (like Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Word & Excel); you can capture documents from your hard drive, or online sites, then you or your signer receive an email message requesting to sign online- signers do not need a DocuSign account to sign and the document is not sent as an attachment- then it’s as simple as clicking sign here and confirming. You can also download or print as needed.

3) eRx
At Claris, 60 % of prescriptions are sent directly to pharmacies electronically, through eRx, allowing for very quick and accurate Rx’s. Some of the other benefits of eRx are: real time alerts on harmful drug-to-drug reaction/allergies, manages formulary of commonly prescribed preferred drugs- so Claris can choose the drug that will cost the least and automatically updates patient’s current medication list.

Compact Touch is a product of Quantel Medical which helps to achieve unrivalled performance in terms of measurements needed to calculate IOL (Intraocular Lens- or the artificial lens that a cataract surgeon places in a patient’s eye after removing the eye’s natural lens) power for cataract surgery. It’s compact and portable, no PC is required and it uses touch-screen. It’s hugely successful due to its exceptional image quality, its compact, lightweight ergonomics and intuitive use.

The Holladay IOL consultant is a “smart” database program allowing for quick and accurate assessments, automatically minimizing prediction error for IOL power calculations every time postoperative results are entered. It can handle an unlimited number of IOL’s , surgeons and patients information.

The NextGen multifaceted line of software products, business services and strategic consulting help Claris in providing high-level care. It includes several modules which help manage: sending claims to insurance, chart documentation and coding of claims for insurance (it even allows for scanning insurance cards and photo ID’s!), importing patient paper records electronically into their chart and with E-pad, allowing patients to sign consent forms on a credit card like device- thus recording it within the patients charts and records.

Phew! That’s an eyeful- and a lot of information to process. You can be sure that as time goes by technology will continue to advance and Claris will be right there at the forefront.

Visit or call Claris Eye Care & Surgery at 612.775.8009 and make your appointment today.

Schedule Your Eye Care Appointment today with NextMD

Forget about more daylight hours in Spring…There’s simply never enough time in the day to take care of ALL the things on your “ To Do” list!

No time for a phone call to your physicians ‘office? Can’t go after work hours to swing by and pick up important documents from your doctors office? Now you can use a patient portal and within seconds be communicating directly with your physician! Patient portal? Sounds like something from a Star Trek episode right?

A patient portal is simply a secure, healthcare related, online application. And with the recent spotlight being on advanced technology in healthcare, Claris Eye Care & Surgery saw this as yet another way to provide better service and care for their patients. Now it’s beyond easy to connect with Claris Eye Care & Surgery 24 hours a day conveniently from your home or office.


Claris Eye Care & Surgery uses NextMD, online patient portal which allow patients remote electronic access to their records, and the ability to communicate directly with their physician and clinical staff.  The NextMD technology allows your doctor to use a single server (unlike emails which use multiple servers over the internet) secured by both a firewall and 128-bit encryption. The secured system has a password protected log-in that you receive upon registering for the service, allowing you direct access and safeguarding your privacy. In the years past, a considerable amount of patients’ health information was never communicated to or easily accessed directly by the patient. Not anymore!

The real value of an EMR and an online patient portal is the patient centered clinical support and improved communication. A home bound, sick or infirmed patient will surely see this new tool as a huge relief. I’ve had quite a few surgeries myself and have found it necessary to be in frequent contact with my physicians’ offices, which can be exhausting. Also, if you are like me, you probably find it easier to write down what you really want to discuss with your doctor because sometimes the subject matter -or even just an office visit- can make me too nervous to remember all of my questions.

How Do I Sign Up?

You can sign up for Next MD by visiting the Claris website and filling out the enrollment form (electronically of course!).  After processing the form, Claris will give you an enrollment token, which you will then use to activate your personal NextMD account.

Once you have enrolled you will be able to do a variety of new things from your very own computer:

  • Send and receive private, secure email messages to Dr. Carlson and staff
  • Request optical prescriptions, medication refills, lab results and make or confirm appointments
  • Research and print information you may be seeking regarding the eye and other current medical topics

Lastly, it is important to note that if you are ever experiencing acute pain or profound vision loss, please do not send a message via NextMD. Instead call Claris Eye Care & Surgery immediately at 612.775.8009, or go to your nearest emergency room or urgent care clinic.

Press 1 for Great Customer Service, Claris’s Focus on Patient Needs

Have you ever called a doctors office and followed the many (and often exhausting) voice-prompt options, until you found someone- a real live person -to answer the phone?

Or maybe you’ve hung up and called back multiple times with the fervent belief that “ this time it will be different “?

I don’t know about you, but I have a few doctors’ offices that I have to call on a fairly regular basis, and time and again it is with great apprehension and dread that I do so. Why? Because most of the time the phone is answered by an unfriendly voice that states the name of the office and then immediately says “Please hold”…Only to come back a few minutes later with a sigh asking “how can I help you.” However, we both know, that person doesn’t really mean it.

Calling to ask about medical questions can promote a lot of anxiety and concern. The last thing we need, as patients, is to feel even more uncomfortable about the importance of our phone call.

Sadly, the vast majority of medical offices seem to have forgotten that they are essentially there to provide a very significant service- to be of care to those in need.

On any given day, the calls coming in to a practice can be of varying degrees of urgency. They can range from scheduling an appointment, filling a prescription, or asking questions you forgot to discuss during a prior consultation to the considerably more urgent post operative medical questions.

Our Focus on Patient Needs

Claris Eye Care & Surgery takes pride in their renewed focus on patient needs and care. Ninety-nine % of the time there is an actual real, live person answering the phone in a courteous, friendly and helpful manner, without the usual gazillion voice prompts!

There is both a clinical team with extensive experience available in addition to an administrative team committed to helping patients. Using electronic medical records helps to facilitate improved administration and timeliness in communicating with patients. And there are even informative, empathetic staff members available to help navigate the often treacherous process of insurance needs!

What People Are Saying

Patient testimonials and feedback are consistent with the Claris commitment to a respectful, considerate and friendly staff that places the needs of their patients first. “It’s nice when people call to