23 April 2017 Last updated at 03:25 GMT

A True American Success Story: In Plain Sight

One of the country’s leading laser eye surgeons, Dr. Cory M. Lessner is the epitome of an American success story.

And it seems he was always destined to head down the same career path.

“From the age of two, my parents said to me that this is what I should do,” he says.

"I have an uncle who is an opthalmologist, and when I was nine I began reading one of his books and decided I would be an eye doctor.”

Despite not being “a stereotypical doctor in personality” (“I have a business brain, so I gravitated to an area that allowed me to express that personality”), Dr. Lessner has built a multimillion dollar practice, Millennium Laser Eye Centers, in the South Florida area.

His international reputation has been based on his expertise with the innovative LASIK laser eye procedure – regarded as one of the most exciting and advanced procedures for correcting near sighted, far sighted and astigmatic vision. 

The procedure involves the creation of a micro-thin protective flap, using a precise femtosecond laser. After the flap is created, the surgeon uses an excimer laser to sculpt the cornea to reduce or eliminate the requirement for corrective lenses.

Dr. Lessner has conducted more than 30,000 successful corneal refractive surgeries throughout his career, including as the official refractive surgeon for the Florida Panthers and Miami Dolphins for the past decade. He has also worked with big name Miami Heat basketballers such as Dwayne Wade and Mario Chalmers.

“There are 350 million Americans with eyesight issues, but only one percent of the population is currently utilizing LASIK,” explains Dr. Lessner.

“In addition, there are 200,000 people who experience difficulties from contact lenses each year and 15,000 and 20,000 infectious ulcers are found from contact lens users each year. Up to 10,000 of these can take permanent vision away which is the real risk of contact lenses.”

"It’s more dangerous to wear contact lenses than it is to implement LASIK.” 

He believes potential patients may shy away from the procedure purely because they are not familiar with its ease and benefits.

“People can be afraid of what they don’t need to be afraid of, rather than educate themselves on what LASIK is,” he says.

Considered one of the most skilled surgeons in his discipline, Dr. Lessner has been recognized and honoured by both his peers (who nominated him to the rolls of Best Doctors in 2007) and his patients.

Last year, Dr. Lessner was one of only a few physicians to be honored with the prestigious Compassionate Doctor Certification, voted for by almost 100 million patients across the US on websites including Vitals and Patients’ Choice.

The doctor has pioneered novel surgical refinement techniques for the improvement of the LASIK procedure and has shared them with his colleagues throughout the US and abroad.

He is further revolutionizing his industry by broadcasting many of his LASIK procedures live on the internet, demonstrating to prospective patients how quick and painless the process is.

“It’s the first time in the world something like it has been done,” he says.

“What’s great is that families and friends, no matter where they are in the world, can see somebody having the procedure. We have had people from Iran, Turkey, Bahamas, UK, Canada and across the US log in to watch the procedures take place.”

“We put ourselves under tremendous pressure to display to the world how simple the procedure is, so anybody can see it, realize how easy it is and wonder why they did not do it sooner.” 

It is not the only area Dr. Lessner is an industry leader in – he has also created a digital patient management and electronic medical records application, which allows the practice to exceed record-keeping requirements for more than 15,000 charts. Digital videos of procedures are attached to each patient’s file,

Despite his success and accolades, Dr. Lessner remains personally involved with every procedure at his Millennium Laser Eye Centers and engages with each customer to find the most suitable solution and outcome for them. 

With the benefits of LASIK surgery – including a high success rate, no need for bandages or stitches post-procedure and the ability to make adjustments if necessary for years later – well documented, the growth of Millennium Laser Eye Centers shows no signs of slowing.

Dr. Cory M. Lessner is an industry renowned and award winning corneal refractive surgeon. His practice, Millennium Laser Eye Centers in South Florida is the official surgery location of the Miami Marlins, Florida Panthers, and Miami Dolphins.

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