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…

Femtosecond Laser for Cataract Surgery


Femtosecond Laser for Cataract Surgery

Let’s not blur things over: It’s time to get “Claris clear” about the hottest trend in cataract surgery: Femtosecond Laser.

There have been several transcending upgrades and enhancements to femtosecond laser procedures used for the treatment of cataracts, thanks to the newest LENSAR Laser System with Augmented Reality.

Cataract surgery is currently the most common outpatient operation, with a very high success rate. That is because at Claris Eye Care & Surgery Dr. Keith Carlson is using the most cutting edge technology- specifically The LENSAR Laser System. Designed for safety, comfort and accuracy, this femtosecond Laser assisted cataract surgery can create incisions with exactitude, while actually softening the cataract lens and decreasing postoperative healing time. In fact, one out of every four of our patients is requesting treatment with this new technology that has reached the paragon of sophistication. Continue Reading…

Claris: The Best For Botox in Minneapolis…Blink & It’s Gone

The Best for Botox in Minneapolis


The Best Botox for Eyes in Minneapolis

Are you ready to blink and have your wrinkles be gone? Then you should call Claris to become “Botox beautiful” today. Because Claris Eye Care & Surgery is the top choice for Botox in Minneapolis. We also happen to have some specials, to make your holidays even happier!

Claris Beautiful With Botox

Wouldn’t you like to know how to look years younger, quickly and easily? Continue Reading…

Laser Eye Surgery With Claris

laser eye surgery

Laser Eye Surgery with Claris Eye Care & Surgery

A number of years ago, laser eye surgery used to seem like a last resort- something most people worried about and put off and therefore neglected. However, nowadays there is no stigma attached to needing laser eye surgery.  The advent of more efficient and modern techniques and technology have brought with them major clarity and the ability to work with laser precision.

Reflecting the growing popularity of laser eye surgery meant that even the language used for laser eye surgery had to change, as the term “surgery” is usually a little intimidating.  Surgeries are now called “Corrective Procedures” and among these remedies are treatments like LASIK, PRK, Visian ICL and many more, all under the umbrella of what is now called “laser vision correction.”

The dynamic field of laser eye surgery has brought Claris Eye Care & Surgery to the forefront of specialized medicine.  Our specialties are lasik, botox, glaucoma, cataracts, laser treatment, general eye care and so much more. We pay attention to every detail and clearly, at Claris, the most important detail is you. 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…

Claris: Home to one of the Best Botox Doctors in Minneapolis

Why should you call Claris to become Botox beautiful today?Why should you call Claris to become Botox beautiful today? Because Claris Eye Care & Surgery is home to Dr. Carlson, one of the best Botox doctors in Minneapolis! Oh, and we also happen to have FREE BOTOX while supplies last for those of you whose crow’s feet are just begging for a little BOTOX!

botox doctors

Claris Beautiful with Botox

Wouldn’t you like to know how to look years younger, quickly, easily and now even for free?!

The Minneapolis flowers are soon to bloom reminding us that spring is about regeneration. For facial rejuvenation purposes, Botox is used to safely, simply, and effectively improve the appearance of frown lines, forehead creases, and crows feet. Now you can let Claris show you how to put your best face forward with the surprisingly simple, safe and effective use of Botox cosmetic. According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Cosmetic Botox is the #1 requested non-surgical procedure in the United States. Using Botox is like having a non- surgical face lift that will give you a more youthful and pleasant appearance.

Botox Basics

Botox cosmetic is the latest advancement in botulinum toxin therapy.  It has been approved by the FDA for use in neurological disorders for over 30 years!  Botox works by relaxing the underlying muscles so they don’t contract- thereby preventing wrinkles from appearing. Botox blocks nerve impulses to tiny facial muscles that are related to expression lines. The overlying skin remains smooth and unwrinkled after treatment while the rest of untreated facial muscles contract in a normal fashion.

By relaxing the underlying muscles of these areas botox reduces the wrinkles. Botox is not a poison and cannot cause an infection.  It does not have a systemic effect.  It is not permanent. Our dynamic facial expressions are creating wrinkles on a daily basis from repeated use of facial muscles. Facial wrinkles and creases begin to appear as the underlying collagen and elastin fibers begin to break down and wear out. This is part of the natural aging process… but it can also result from the harsh weather and climate conditions of Minneapolis, excessive squinting, frowning, smoking and smiling.

Medicinal Botox in Minneapolis

Botox is also actually used as a prescription and medical treatment for far more significant conditions! Since 1989, Botox injections have been the principle treatment for a muscle disorder called Blepharospasm.  Blepharospasm causes involuntary spasms of the muscles around your eye, which can result in uncontrollable and excessive blinking, eye twitching, or the closing of your eyelids.  Botox therapy has been the treatment of choice and used to aid in the correction of muscle problems that cause Blepharospasm.  It is injected into the muscles, where it binds to nerve endings and inhibits the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (Ach). This leads to decreased muscular contractions.

Spring Into Action

Take charge of your beauty, health and well- being. Add a more youthful look to put a spring in your step and take advantage of the best place for Botox in Minneapolis!

Claris is one of the few offices that offers the Brilliant Distinctions Program which is a huge benefit to our patients– you can earn points each time you get Botox Cosmetic (and several other treatments), redeem your points for big savings on future cosmetics procedures and skin care products. Or, make a difference in someone else’s life by donating your points to Dress For Success or the Make- A- Wish Foundation.

Isn’t it great to know you have a choice? Put your eye care in the capable hands of an experienced Claris physician. Contact Claris today and find out how cosmetic or medical Botox can improve your quality of life.

Remember to call NOW while supplies last and take advantage of FREE Botox for your Crows Feet If you have questions or would like to schedule a treatment, please contact us at 612.775.8009 or by email at


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

Laser Eye Surgery in Minneapolis: Seeing things clearly with Claris

Thanks to the extraordinary success rate with laser eye surgery at Claris Eye Care & Surgery, a multitude of patients report seeing things more clearly than they have at any other time in their lives. Dr. Carlson is a prominent and sought after eye surgeon and has proven to be the best possible choice for laser eye surgery in Minneapolis.

Laser eye surgery refers to any surgical procedure used to correct vision problems. In recent years, tremendous advancements have been made in the field of laser eye surgery- also called laser vision correction or “refractive” laser eye surgery. Due to it’s popularity more eye care specialists are relying on the efficacy and accuracy of this cutting edge technology.

Some of the vision correction surgeries work by reshaping the cornea so that light traveling through it is properly focused onto the retina located in the back of the eye. The three most mainstream types of laser eye surgeries are called LASIKLASEK, and PRK.

LASIK: LASIK is short for “laser in-situ keratomileusis”. This kind of laser eye surgery is used to correct vision in people who are nearsighted, farsighted, and/or have astigmatism. During LASIK surgery, vision is corrected by reshaping underlying corneal tissue so that it can properly focus light into the eye and onto the retina. How it differs from other surgeries is in the flap that is made in the outer layer of the cornea so that the underlying tissue can be accessed.

PRK: PRK is short for “photorefractive keratectomy”. This kind of laser eye surgery is also used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism – mild to moderate cases. During PRK surgery, an eye surgeon uses a laser to reshape the cornea. This particular laser, which delivers a cool pulsing beam of ultraviolet light, is used on the surface of the cornea, not underneath a flap of the cornea, like in LASIK eye surgery.

LASEK: LASEK is short for “laser epithelial keratomileusis”, and is a variant of PRK. Once again, it is used to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Epithelial cells are loosened using an alcohol solution. A laser is used to reshape the cornea, then the cells are replaced and secured with a soft contact lens while it heals.

At the Claris Eye Care & Surgery in Minnesota, LASIK, PRK and LASEK is performed with the addition of computer imaging called WaveScan or “wavefront technology” which creates a detailed image of the cornea and guide for surgical treatment.

Dr. Carlson utilizes the VISX STAR S4 IR laser- representing the most advanced laser technology platform available today. By integrating data collected by the WaveScan® Wavefront system, the STAR S4 IR utilizes exclusive VISX technology to deliver precision custom laser surgery. The WaveScan® based digital technology identifies and measures imperfections in your eyes 25 times more precisely than standard methods. The powerful WaveScan® software then translates the information into a set of CustomVue® treatment instructions for the laser, driving a new level of precision and accuracy.

Where your surgery is performed is just as important as the quality of the technology used. Dr. Carlson performs all procedures exclusively at the highly specialized Phillips Eye Institute in Minnesota. People from a five-state region come to the Phillips Eye Institute for an array of services, from diagnostic tests and vision rehabilitation to laser eye treatments and specialized eye surgery.

When it comes to improving your vision -and see everything in life more clearly!, Dr Carlson is your best possible choice for laser eye surgery in Minneapolis.

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.

PRK at Claris: Making Back To Basics Better

Being one of the best PRK doctors in Minneapolis requires a lot of experience and clearly, a lot of faith in the benefits of PRK… The benefits of PRK over it’s previously more popular step-sister, Lasik

PRK laser eye surgery | minneapolis, st. paul laser vision correctionIt is a little known fact that PRK is actually the predecessor to Lasik and was the first type of laser eye surgery for vision correction. Improvements in laser technology in the last decade have benefited PRK- meaning that more patients are feeling better and having better visual results with PRK than with Lasik. At Claris, Dr. Carlson performs countless PRK surgeries a year. It was comforting to find out that PRK eye surgery is actually an ambulatory procedure (which means you walk-in, walk-out the same day), done right next door to Claris at the renowned Phillips Eye Institute …. And, that the actual surgery itself takes only 15 minutes!

Ok, here’s the nitty gritty:

PRK stands for photorefractive keractomy and is a type of refractive surgery used to correct astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness.

PRK works by reshaping the cornea using an excimer laser – which in translation means a short wave ultra violet light allowed to enter the eye, focused onto the retina, to vaporize and remove tissue from the eyes surface- the cornea. The remaining underlying corneal tissue is called the residual stromal bed. The main way that PRK differs from Lasik is that during Lasik a hinged flap is created on the cornea to accessPRK laser eye surgery | minneapolis, st. paul laser vision correction treatment area, and in PRK the cornea’s entire epithelial (outer) layer is removed to expose the treatment area, with no flap.

Initially the complaint about PRK was that the recovery time is too slow. It takes a few days for the epithelial cells to regenerate and cover the surface of the eye. And even though Lasik has a faster recovery period, a few of it’s shortcomings have come to light (pun intended), namely there have been complaints about night vision & the quality of vision. However, with the improvements in laser technology, PRK now allows the surgeon to leave a smoother stromal bed after surgery, with improved quality of vision and reduced formation of haze (another initial complaint about PRK). Most surgeons are applying mitomycin C for several seconds after surgery nowadays, to prevent haze after the healing period.

There are certain people who would be very attractive candidates, and would find PRK especially useful. These would be patients with:

  • Thin corneas
  • Large pupils
  • Corneal scars

If you are a possible candidate and are considering PRK, here are a few helpful Pre and Post- operative keys to success to keep in mind:

Preop- Careful preoperative care is crucial in helping to speed epithelial healing. Patients with Blepharitis should treat with lid hygiene, antibiotics & scribs.

Patients with dry eye should use artificial tears, Restasis, ointments or punctual plugs. In some cases, a dose of steroids just before surgery and quickly tapering over the days after can help with inflammation and pain.

Postop– The crucial point for epithelial healing and for reducing pain here is that the contact lens placed after surgery fits correctly.

Do not overuse anesthetic eye drops after surgery, this can delay healing time.

Decreasing inflammation in the eye is vital to speed healing- but it’s important to use with caution.

Think it’s time for a little PRK today?

The most important decision you will make is choosing the best eye surgeon with the most experience in PRK. And for that you need not look any further. Consistent patient feedback is that Dr. Carlson is the best eye surgeon for PRK!! Dr. Carlson, who was not only voted “Top Doc” again this year, but who has also been performing PRK for nearly 20 years, will assure that you are in good hands and looking good in no time.

Make an appointment to have a thorough eye exam, where Dr. Carlson can assess your general health and medical background and determine if you are a suitable candidate for PRK.

Contact Claris today at 612.775.8009 or by email at

For your eyes, the choice is clear.