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Meet Dr. Tersigni

“I never get tired of seeing the positive – and often immediate – effects vision correction can have on my patients’ lives.”

Steven Tersigni, M.D.


Dr. Tersigni’s educational achievements are extensive. After graduating cum laude from the University of Oregon, he obtained both his medical degree and a master’s degree in public health at Tulane University’s School of Medicine in New Orleans. He completed an internship at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Washington, followed by his ophthalmology residency training at the Ira G. Ross Eye Institute in Buffalo, NY. Dr. Tersigni then completed a fellowship in anterior segment and refractive surgery under the mentorship of world-renowned vision correction surgeon, Dr. Y. Ralph Chu, at the Chu Vision Institute in Minneapolis, MN. Here, he was trained in the full spectrum of vision correction solutions. Before founding Tersigni Vision, Dr. Tersigni worked in St. Louis at Brinton Vision, one of the premier vision correction centers in the country, where patients traveled from across the United States to have their vision correction procedure performed.

In addition to being a surgeon, Dr. Tersigni is an educator and researcher. He has been published in national journals and has authored and edited content for numerous medical educational publications and websites. He has been involved in ten U.S. FDA trials involving advanced technology lens implants, corneal treatments and investigational therapeutic medications, among other studies. He is a member of the Refractive Surgery Alliance, a global organization comprised of the top vision correction surgeons from around the world, as well as the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Tersigni is a refractive surgery patient himself. He was the first patient in the US to have the EVO Toric ICL implanted in his own eye. This was after being told many years ago that he was not a good candidate for LASIK.

Dr. Tersigni and his wife Kayla both grew up on the Oregon coast and love raising their children together in the Portland area.

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Fun Facts

  • Is fluent in Vietnamese.

  • Has ICLs implanted in his own eyes.

  • Plays the violin.

  • He and his wife, Kayla, have 5 children

  • In addition to an MD, he has two master’s degrees, one in public health and the other in biophysics.

  • Hates tomatoes.

More about being a LASIK Surgeon

An Interview with Dr. Tersigni

What did it take to become a LASIK surgeon?

LASIK and vision correction surgeons are ophthalmologists with additional, specialized training. They must complete:

  • Four years of undergraduate education
  • Four years of medical school
  • One year of internship
  • Three years of specialized medical and surgical training in eye care as a resident in Ophthalmology
  • One year of training specializing in LASIK and refractive surgery

It definitely required a lot of dedication and hard work. It required being in school and training for a long time, which was especially challenging since I was married and we had children all throughout my training. My wife Kayla was so awesome and such a great support during those difficult years. I couldn’t have done it without her.

Why Portland, Oregon for your practice?

Both my wife and I grew up on the Oregon coast and love the access to nature and the outdoors that Oregon affords. After being away from the Pacific Northwest for so long during training and my early career, we wanted to be closer to family and the Portland area seemed like the perfect spot to raise our children. As I looked around for opportunities, I realized that there wasn’t really anyone that was providing LASIK and vision correction surgery in the way that I was used to providing in some of the world class centers I had worked in before. I was excited about the opportunity to bring that same kind of care to the people of Oregon and the Portland area.

Where have you practiced before Portland?

Before moving back to Oregon, I was a refractive surgeon at Brinton Vision in St. Louis. It is one of the premier vision correction centers in the country and patients would fly from all over the US to have surgery with us. There, I was privileged to have many opportunities, including being among some of the first surgeons in the country to perform the Light Adjustable Lens procedure (LAL).

I also worked at Chu Vision in the Minneapolis area and had the privilege of learning from Dr. Y. Ralph Chu who was one of the early pioneers of LASIK and vision correction surgery. I learned so many things from him and his practice and how to provide world-class vision correction care.

Did you consider other medical specialties before you decided on becoming a refractive surgeon?

My father is a general surgeon, so I considered that and radiology for a while. However, nothing provided the life-changing and often immediate impact that eye surgery did, so once I saw that, I knew that’s what I wanted to do.

When you aren’t performing vision correction procedures, what do you like to do for fun?

A lot of my time is spent hanging out with my wife and kids. Kayla and I have 5 kids and they range in age from 15 to 4, so there’s a lot of fun chaos at our house. I get to wrestle with them, play the guitar with them, cheer them on during soccer games, and teach them how to ride their bikes. There’s never a dull moment. When I do have some spare time, I like to exercise and explore the outdoors. I also play the violin and guitar.

What was it like undergoing a vision correction procedure for yourself?

Having ICL surgery on myself was incredible. I didn’t take any sedatives for the surgery because I wanted to see and remember everything since it was my only chance to be on the other side of the microscope. I always tried to explain to patients what to expect during their surgery, but being able to experience it firsthand for myself helped me understand even better what my patients experience. And the results have been amazing. I see better after surgery than I ever did in glasses or contacts, and it’s so freeing to not have to worry about those anymore.

What was it like being involved in FDA trials?

It has been really interesting being involved in the FDA trials that I have been on. It’s amazing to see the amount of detail and work that goes into making sure that the technology we use is safe and effective. It’s also really fun to be able to see and use advanced technology before everyone else and get an idea of the tools we will be able to use in the next few years.

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