The decision to have LASIK surgery is one of the most important and life-changing most patients ever make. However, what’s just as important is your choice of your LASIK surgeon.

From the beginning of his private practice, Dr. Updegraff, the Laser Guy has emphasized the importance of your surgeon in terms of your LASIK results and overall experience. Think about it in terms of the best race cars: while we all may love Ferraris, only a few drivers are skilled enough to safely bring out their best on the racetrack. It’s the same with LASIK – the fact that it’s performed with a laser doesn’t mean it requires any less skill than bladed surgery. And really, are your eyes the place you want to sacrifice on quality?

You have many choices for LASIK, but if you do your homework, we believe you will choose Precision LASIK™ by Updegraff. Our results are evident in that we have one of the longest track records in the country of performing LASIK. We offer nothing but the best technology for every patient, and Dr. Updegraff’s skill, experience, and unique history with LASIK is hard to find*. Most importantly, we treat every patient as a VIP – we’ll make sure you have not only a great visual result, but a great experience as well. Request a consultation today to see for yourself what sets Dr. Updegraff apart from other LASIK surgeons.


Experience, education, and involvement in the field are some of the most important factors to consider when choosing your LASIK surgeon. These are just a few reasons why Dr. Updegraff’s career and educational experience are hard to beat:

  • Longevity – Dr. Updegraff has been performing LASIK surgeries every week for nearly two decades, so it’s hard to imagine how another surgeon could have performed more LASIK procedures over his or her career.
  • Been with LASIK since the beginning – Dr. Updegraff was on the Bogatá, Colombia, team that developed LASIK, and he performed the third LASIK surgery in the U.S. (patient record on file) and the first in Asia.
  • Training – In addition to his ophthalmology residency, Dr. Updegraff completed a year-long fellowship in Cornea, Refractive, and Laser Surgery at the University of Texas-Houston. This type of exclusive, subspecialty training is reserved for only a select few surgeons. To call himself or herself a “LASIK surgeon,” a doctor is only required to take a weekend course – Dr. Updegraff has gone above and beyond this.
  • Patents – Dr. Updegraff has earned five U.S. patents for developing instruments, techniques, and technologies in LASIK; as well as two patents for eye microsurgery.
  • Commitment to patient outcomes – Dr. Updegraff has performed and led studies to teach other doctors how to reduce patient complications from refractive surgery.
  • Commitment to the field of refractive surgery – Dr. Updegraff continues to make educational videos, lecture, teach, and attend conferences, in order to contribute to his field and be challenged with different approaches, technologies, and viewpoints, so that his patients benefit from his continued excellence in his field.

The lasers used and the facility in which the surgery is performed can greatly impact the quality and results of LASIK. Because Dr. Updegraff is in private practice, he owns his own facility and lasers, and he takes great pride in providing nothing but the best for his patients.

Dr. Updegraff keeps up-to-date with the latest advancements in LASIK, and consistently provides nothing but the best technology to every patient. No shortcuts or outdated, cheaper options are acceptable with Precision LASIK™ by Updegraff. This begins at your consultation, when the Pentacam creates a map of your cornea, and extends throughout your surgery, where every procedure is Wavefront-Guided and Iris Recognition technology will track your eye.

Dr. Updegraff’s lasers are maintained by his qualified staff and by laser engineers employed by the laser manufacturer. Dr. Updegraff does not believe in mobile “rental”-type laser units, and he is diligent with system checks and laser maintenance – he doesn’t delegate anything to a third party just because it would be less expensive.

The quality of your LASIK surgery is also affected by whether or not your surgeon owns his or her own LASIK lasers. There are three ways for a doctor to gain access to lasers: He or she can buy one and remain personally responsible for it; he/she can lease it and have it delivered as needed (called a “roll-on/roll-off” laser); or he/she can go to a corporate surgical center to use their laser, where they get part of the doctor’s fee for the use of their laser. Dr. Updegraff has always owned his own lasers, because he believes this leads to the best patient outcomes. By being responsible for his lasers and using them for every procedure, Dr. Updegraff is intimately familiar with the technology he is using, and he believes this ultimately adds to the safety of the procedure – just like a pilot who has thousands of hours on a particular aircraft, compared to a “weekend warrior” pilot.

Every Precision LASIK™ by Updegraff surgery is performed in Dr. Updegraff’s state-of-the-art LASIK suites, because Dr. Updegraff approaches LASIK as he would any eye surgery. When he was first in practice, he was a director of a “corporate” LASIK center; while there, he was told by the business manager not to use the word “surgery” and instead to call LASIK a “procedure,” because they didn’t want to scare prospective “customers.” The next day, Dr. Updegraff left and set up his own LASIK surgery facility, motivated to leave out no detail for safety and precision.

Dr. Updegraff created a lint-“free” environment in his LASIK suites to combat one of the most common causes for debris getting under a LASIK flap: Because the bed of the cornea underneath a flap is like a magnet for particles in the air, any nearby lint will be drawn to the eye. HEPA filters and a unique air-conditioning system purify the air in the LASIK suites, and Dr. Updegraff and his assistants wear expensive Biogel gloves as another means of preventing debris from entering the eye. Dr. Updegraff and his staff, as well as the patient having LASIK, all wear lint-free gowns for this same reason.

Sterile technique is practiced during each Precision LASIK™ surgery just as if the patient was having a transplant in our ambulatory surgery center. Additionally, because lasers tend to perform best in low humidity and a cool environment, these conditions are maintained 24/7 in the Precision LASIK™ suite.

These conditions for performing LASIK cannot be duplicated with a rental laser or in a fancy business center – you can only accomplish this if you build your own facilities, as Dr. Updegraff has done.


To many patients, having LASIK surgery can seem overwhelming and scary. It’s natural to have these feelings, and Dr. Updegraff completely understands where you’re coming from. More than 15 years ago, he had his best friend perform LASIK on his eyes, and even he – a world expert and researcher in LASIK, receiving the procedure from his best friend – remembers how nervous he felt.

To make your surgery as comfortable and safe as possible, Dr. Updegraff has developed a system of patient care that he generated from his own experience as a LASIK patient as well as from the tens of thousands of patients he has treated. Nothing is rushed, sedation is given, and there is even a staff member dedicated exclusively to holding your hand and attending to all of your concerns.

Because Dr. Updegraff is extremely comfortable performing LASIK and he enjoys his work,patients often say his calm demeanor and voice are very comforting to them. In fact, many patients who were so “eye sensitive” that they couldn’t even wear contacts – much less ever believed they’d be able to receive LASIK – have told him that it was easier than having a dental cleaning!

Dr. Updegraff’s ultimate goal is for you to achieve your best vision, and he believes that complete LASIK care encompasses far more than the day of surgery. Dr. Updegraff will meet with you personally before your procedure, to make sure all of your questions are answered and that you are completely comfortable. He himself determines your candidacy.

Because Dr. Updegraff is committed to providing the highest level of care, educating patients on how to maintain their excellent LASIK results has been a top priority. Emphasizing the need for yearly eye care has led to better patient care and prevented changes that can affect the LASIK result but are unrelated to LASIK itself.


With his unique credentials, Dr. Updegraff could have practiced anywhere – but he chose to return to his hometown in Tampa Bay. Sometimes knowing what a person stands for is as important as all the achievements and experience in the world. Dr. Updegraff is a family man and encourages a “family” environment in his practice. For instance, most of his employees have been with him from the beginning, 10 or more years ago.

Dr. Updegraff offers patients a different experience and feel than that of the typical “corporate” approach to LASIK. We believe this is why he has been so successful. His commitment to the community that supports him and his practice is evident in his history of giving back to it and to organizations that make our world a better place to live. Caring – whether it be for patients, staff, or community – is a core value of Dr. Updegraff.

* “Stephen Updegraff,” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_updegraff
ii “Single Center Clinical Trial to Evaluate the Surgical Correction of Low, Moderate and High Myopia with and without Astigmatism with Excimer Laser;” Luis A. Ruiz, M.D., Stephen G. Slade, M.D., Stephen A. Updegraff, M.D.; Presenter; Annual Meeting, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery; San Diego, CA; April 1995
iii “Excimer Laser Keratomileusis;” Luis A. Ruiz, M.D., Stephen G. Slade, M.D., Stephen A. Updegraff, M.D.; Presenter; First Interactive Symposium, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery; San Francisco, CA; October 1994