Stephen A. Updegraff, M.D., FACS, is one of the most experienced LASIK surgeons in the world, also known as the Laser Guy. He is board-certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and has been the Medical Director of Updegraff Vision in Tampa Bay, Florida, since 1996. Dr. Updegraff received his M.D. from Penn State College of Medicine, completed his ophthalmic residency at the LSU Eye Center, and then received additional subspecialty training in a Cornea, Refractive, and Laser Surgery Fellowship at the University of Texas-Houston’s Hermann Eye Center. After completing his education and training, Dr. Updegraff had offers to practice all over the country, but he ultimately decided to return to the family, state, and hometown that he loves.
Dr. Updegraff is internationally known for his work with LASIK surgery. He performed the third LASIK in the U.S. and the first in Asia, and he has earned five patents on LASIK technologies as well as two additional patents related to microsurgery of the eye. Dr. Updegraff continues to lecture and publish about advancements and issues in LASIK, and often travels across the country and throughout the world to participate in conferences and other events.
Throughout his career, Dr. Updegraff has received a multitude of awards and honors for his contributions to LASIK. Notable recognitions include the Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology; the Kritzinger Award from the International Society of Refractive Surgery and the South African Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery; and the Kadel Award for contributions in science from his undergraduate alma mater, Eckerd College. Other recent honors include the Distinguished Citizens Award from the West Central Florida Council Boy Scouts of America, the Best Paper in Session award from the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, and inclusion as a member of the peer-selected Best Doctors in America list.
Dr. Updegraff lives in his hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida, with his wife and three daughters. His father, Ambrose G. Updegraff, M.D., FACS, has practiced ophthalmology in St. Petersburg since 1958, and has been a major influence not only in the high quality of care provided in his practice, but in his devotion to his local community as well. In his free time, Dr. Steve Updegraff enjoys spending time in the great Florida outdoors – flyfishing and fishing, camping, hiking, boating, surfing, and stand-up paddleboarding.
To learn more about why you should choose Dr. Updegraff as your LASIK surgeon, read Why Choose Dr. Updegraff.
NOTABLE FACTS ABOUT DR. UPDEGRAFF
- Member of the Bogotá, Colombia, team that helped develop LASIK
- Performed the third LASIK surgery in the U.S. during the FDA clinical trials of the Chiron Technolas laser (patient record on file)
- Performed the first LASIK surgery in Asia while teaching it to hundreds of Chinese doctors
- Performed the first Crystalens lens implant surgery in Florida, the morning the FDA approved it
Selected Professional Memberships, Credentials, and Appointments
- Fellow, American College of Surgeons
- Board-certified, American Board of Ophthalmology
- Member, American Academy of Ophthalmology
- Member, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
- Member, International Society of Refractive Surgery
- Member, American College of Ophthalmic Surgery
- Appointed Member, Dean’s Council on Science (Eckerd College)
- Appointed Member, Skills Transfer Advisory Board (American Academy of Ophthalmology)
- Board of Trustees Member, Prevent Blindness
Selected Awards, Honors, and Achievements
- Kritzinger Award, International Society of Refractive Surgery and South African Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
- Achievement Award, American Academy of Ophthalmology
- Kadel Award, Eckerd College
- Distinguished Citizens Award, West Central Florida Council Boy Scouts of America
- Best Presentation award, International Society of Refractive Surgery
- Best Paper in Session award, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
- Best Doctors in America list, peer-selected member
- U.S. Patent #5,374,272 – Apparatus and Method for Mechanically Dilating the Pupil of an Eye
- U.S. Patent #5,405,355 – Method of Radial Keratotomy Employing a Vibrating Cutting Blade
- U.S. Patent #5,697,945 – Corneal Surface Marker and Marking Method for Reducing Irregular Astigmatism and Debris/Epithelium in the Interface During Lamellar Corneal Flap/Cap Surgery
- U.S. Patent #5,752,967 – Corneal Surface Marker and Marking Method for Reducing Irregular Astigmatism During Lamellar (LASIK) Corneal Surgery
- U.S. Patent #5,755,700 – Corneal Irrigation Cannula and Method of Using
- U.S. Patent #5,779,711 – Corneal Flap or Cap Elevator
- U.S. Patent #5,800,406 – Corneal Irrigation Cannula
- Medical Director, Updegraff Vision (St. Petersburg, FL; 1996 – present)
- Medical Director, Laser Corporation of America (Clearwater, FL; 1996 – 1998)
- Director of Cornea and Refractive Surgery, Black Hills Regional Eye Institute (1995 – 1996)
- Bachelor of Science: Biology, Eckerd College, 1984
- Medical Degree, Penn State College of Medicine, 1989
- Research Elective: Ophthalmic Pathology, Wilmer Eye Institute, John Hopkins University, 1989
- Transitional Internship: Internal Medicine/Ophthalmology, Charity Hospital, LSU-New Orleans, 1989-1990
- Ophthalmology Eye Surgery Residency (four-year program), Louisiana State University Eye Center, New Orleans, 1990-1994
- Cornea, Refractive, and Laser Surgery Fellowship, University of Texas-Houston, Hermann Eye Center, 1994-1995
To read Dr. Updegraff’s full professional resume, click here.