Lance Kugler, MD

Why did you choose refractive surgery as a specialty?

“Refractive Surgery is much more than a job to me–it’s a passion. It is a tremendous privilege to spend my days combining skills, expertise, and incredible technology in order to make lives better for people. At Kugler Vision we believe that a life without the barriers of glasses or contact lenses is a better life, and we are dedicated to helping our patients reach their maximum human potential.”

Why Omaha?


As a destination practice for patients all over the U.S., the centralized location is also convenient for patients traveling from outside the area.

“My ancestors have been in Nebraska since the mid 1800’s, and I had the good fortune of growing up in Omaha. Many people may not realize how strong the medical community is in Omaha. We have incredible support, in terms of both economics and expertise, and a diverse economy that benefits from a specialized and customized approach to each patient’s needs. As a destination practice for patients all over the U.S., the centralized location is also convenient for patients traveling from outside the area.

I feel a strong sense of obligation to give back to the state and community that has given me so much. My wife and her family are also deeply involved in the community, so we feel fortunate to have the opportunity to raise our family here as well. These factors combined made Omaha the obvious choice.”

Have you had refractive surgery yourself?

“Yes. I had fairly bad nearsightedness for most of my life. I had LASIK in both eyes and it was an absolutely transformational experience. My wife also had laser surgery and agrees it is one of the best things she has ever done.”

Professional Life

Dr. Kugler serves on several national boards and Kugler Vision is recognized internationally as a center of excellence. Alongside co-founders Dr. Jason P. Brinton and Dr. Greg Parkhurst as well as fellow Dr. Luke Rebenitsch, Dr. Kugler is a founding member of the Refractive Surgery Alliance (RSA). He was the first President and continues to serve on the executive board. As a world-wide organization made up of 300 of the leading LASIK surgeons from around the globe, the RSA espouses a positive agenda of ethical refractive physicianship, state-of-the-art equipment and post-treatment longevity. Dr. Kugler strives to ensure that these values carry through to both his staff and his entire practice for each and every patient in the Omaha area. He also serves as the RSA’s liaison to the American Refractive Surgery Council.

Additionally, Dr. Kugler serves as the Director of Refractive Surgery of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, where he is in charge of resident education and research programs to advance the field of refractive surgery.

Personal Interests

Dr. Kugler and his wife have 5 children, which take up the majority of his time. When he does find a free moment he enjoys skiing, tennis, golf, traveling, fine coffee, and craft beer.

Education

Dr. Kugler is an Omaha native and earned his undergraduate degree from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Computer Science.

He then went on to earn his MD from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. After graduation, he returned to Omaha, Nebraska for residency training in ophthalmology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Following residency training, Dr. Kugler entered private practice.

After practicing ophthalmology in the Omaha area for four years, Dr. Kugler decided to embrace his passion for refractive surgery and began the process of forming Kugler Vision. Read more about the practice history here.

CURRICULUM VITAE
Lance J. Kugler, MD, PCEO

CURRENT POSITION

Surgeon and CEO: Kugler Vision, PC, Omaha, Nebraska (9/2010 – present)

Refractive and Cataract Surgeon

Director of Refractive Surgery (9/2010 – present)

Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology

University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska

EMPLOYMENT

Partner: First Eye Associates, PC, Omaha, Nebraska (7/2005 – 7/2009)

 

EDUCATION

Executive: Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL (January 2015 – December 2015)

Physician-CEO Executive Education Program

Fellowship: Wang Vision Institute/University of Tennessee, Nashville, Tennessee (August 2009 – July 2010)

Cornea/Refractive Surgery

Residency: University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, (2002 – 2005)

Ophthalmology

Internship: University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, (2001 – 2002)

PGY-1, Internal Medicine

Medical School: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio, (1997 – 2001)

Doctor of Medicine

Class Representative, Alumni Board of Trustees, (1997 – lifetime)

Class Representative, Committee of Student Representatives, (1999 – 2001)

Crile Summer Research Fellowship, (1998)

Irwin Lepow Student Research Day, (1999)

Undergraduate: DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana, (1993 – 1997)

B.A., Computer Science

Magna Cum Laude

Phi Beta Kappa, (1997)

Dean’s List all semesters

The Outstanding Senior in Computer Science, (1997)

Mortar Board (1996 – 1997)

Phi Eta Sigma (Academic Honor Society), (1997)

Beta Theta Pi Fraternity (President)

LICENSURE

State of Nebraska Medical License

State of Tennessee Medical License

DEA

 

CERTIFICATION

American Board of Ophthalmology, 2006, 2016

 

SKILL CERTIFICATION

Zeiss MEL-80, 2017

ReLEX SMILE, Zeiss VisuMax Femtosecond Laser, (2016, 2017)

Revision Optics Raindrop Corneal Inlay, 2016

AcuFocus KAMRA Inlay, 2015

Wavetec ORA, 2013

B&L Crystalens Trulign Toric IOL, 2013

OptiMedica Catalys Cataract Femtosecond Laser, 2013

Alcon LenSx Cataract Femtosecond Laser, 2013

TearScience LipiFlow System, 2013

Alcon Wavelight FS200 Femtosecond Laser, 2013

Avedro Corneal Crosslinking System, 2012

Staar Visian Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL), Staar Surgical, 2010

Intacs Intrastromal Corneal Ring Segments, Addition Technology, 2010

Refocus Presview Scleral Implants/Scleral Spacing Procedure

FDA Clinical Trial Sub-Investigator, 2009-2014

Study Coordinator, 2009-2014

VISX Star S4 Excimer Laser, AMO, 2009

Intralase Femtosecond Laser, AMO, 2009

Alegretto Wavelight Excimer Laser, Alcon, 2008

Refractec Conductive Keratoplasty, Refractec, 2006

Alcon LadarWave Excimer Laser, Alcon, 2006

 

ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS

University of Nebraska Medical Center

Director of Refractive Surgery (2010-present)

Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology

Omaha Veterans Administration Hospital, Clinical Adjunct Professor, Ophthalmology, 2005-2009

 

MEMBERSHIP IN SOCIETIES

Refractive Surgery Alliance, Founder (2013), President (2013 – 2016). Executive board (2016-present)

Strathspey Crown, Principal

American-European College of Ophthalmic Surgeons

Cornea Society

American Academy of Ophthalmology, Fellow

Selected for Leadership Development Program, class of 2007-2008

Young Ophthalmologist (YO) subcommittee member, YO Info Board, 2008-2010

Ophthalmic News and Education (ONE) network Young Ophthalmologist Advisory Committee, 2008-2010

American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery

Young Eye Surgeon (YES) Social Media Subcommittee Member 2013 – present

International Society of Refractive Surgery

Nebraska Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons

Pearls in Ophthalmology

Senior Editor, Cataract/Anterior Segment, 2008-2012

 

MEETINGS ATTENDED

Private Equity Boot Camp, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, October 13-15, 2017

Refractive Surgery Alliance Premium Practice Showcase,

Sioux Falls, SD, June 2015

Salt Lake City, UT, June 2016

Refractive Surgery Alliance Symposium, 2013 – 2017

American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons Annual Meeting, 2010-2017

American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting, 2004-2008, 2010-2016

American-European College of Ophthalmic Surgeons, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2017

American Academy of Ophthalmology Advocacy Day and Midyear Forum,  Washington, DC, 2008

American Academy of Ophthalmology Leadership Development Program (LDP) San Francisco, CA, 2008

Nebraska Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, 2002-2016

American Academy of Ophthalmology Refractive Surgery Subspecialty Day, 2004-2016

Gifford-Truhlsen Research Day, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 2002-2017

Midwest Academic Refractive Surgery Consortium, 2002-2006

Wills Eye Hospital Annual Ophthalmology Review Course, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2004, 2006

Osler Institute Ophthalmology Board Review Course, 2006

Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 1999, 2001, 2005

 

AWARDS AND HONORS

Best Paper of Session

American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons, Boston, MA, April 11, 2010

Howard Dinsdale Award for Outstanding Resident Presentation,

Gifford-Truhlsen Research Day, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, June 10, 2005

 

EDITORIAL ACTIVITIES

EyeWorld, Refractive Surgery Editorial Board Member, 2017 – present

ASCRS YES Advisory Board Member, 2015 – present

TearScience, Advisory Board Member, 2013 – present

OptiCall, Advisory Board Member, 2013 – 2014

Journal of Refractive Surgery, Reviewer, 2013 – present

Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, Reviewer, 2009-present

The Optical Society, Reviewer, 2010-present

 

CLINICAL RESEARCH ACTIVITY

AccuFocus KAMRA Inlay Post-approval Study

FDA monitored post-approval study

Principal Investigator 2017-present

ACOS-KXL-001 Crosslinking Trial in Patients with Keratoconus or Corneal Ectasia

FDA monitored phase III trial

Principal Investigator 2012 – 2015

PresView Scleral Implants (Scleral Spacing Procedure), ReFocus Group, Ft. Worth, TX

FDA monitored surgical device trial

Principal Investigator, Kugler Vision, 2010-2015

Sub-investigator, Wang Vision Institute, 2009-2010

Psychometic Validation of the Visual Symptoms Associated with Refractive Correction

(VSARC) Questionnaire, Alcon Research, Ltd.

IRB Approved Clinical Trial

Principal Investigator 2012

 

PUBLICATIONS / PRESENTATIONS

  1. Kugler, Lance. The RLE Decision Tree. Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today, May 2018, crstoday.com/articles/2018-may/the-rle-decision-tree/.
  2. Machat J, Bafna S, Kugler L. Techniques for Optimizing Femtosecond and Excimer Laser Performance in Corneal Inlay Implantation. ASCRS Course Instructor, ASCRS Annual Meeting, Washington D.C., April 17, 2018
  3. Panelist. Tips, Pearls and Take-home Messages. ASCRS Refractive Day, ASCRS Annual Meeting, Washington D.C., April 13, 2018
  4. Kugler L. Visual Recovery after Implantation of a Small-Aperture Corneal Inlay into a Femtosecond Laser-Created Lamellar Pocket. ASCRS Annual Meeting, Washington D.C., April 16, 2018
  5. Kugler, Lance. A 30,000-Foot View of Refractive’s Future. Ophthalmology Management, March 2018, pp. 34-36.
  6. Kugler, Lance. Three Reasons Why the VisuMax Femtosecond Laser is Worth the Investment. Supplement to Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today, 2017, pp. 3-4.
  7. Brown C, Myers M, Kugler L. A Method to Measure Objective Refraction in Small-Aperture Corneal Inlay Patients. ARVO Annual Meeting, Global connections in vision research, May 7-11, 2017
  8. Kugler L. Medico-legal issues in refractive surgery. Refractive Surgery Subspecialty Day, American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL October 14, 2016
  9. Kugler, Lance. Important Financial Concepts For The Physician-CEO. Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today Europe, May 2016, pp.66-68.
  10. Thompson V, Durrie D, Waring IV G, Rocha C, Kugler L, Trattler B. Adaption of the diagnosis of presbyopia to the modern refractive cataract patient: Dysfunctional lens syndrome. ASCRS Paper, 2016
  11. Kugler, Lance, et al. “New Technologies in Anterior Segment Diagnostic Assessment for Refractive Lens Exchange.” Refractive Lens Exchange A Surgical Treatment for Presbyopia, SLACK Incorporated, 2016, pp. 37-49.
  12. Kugler L, Crews J, Morgan L. Ocular residual astigmatism. CRSToday August, 2014:1-3
  13. Crews J, Kugler L. Epidemiology of the predominance of non corneal ocular residual astigmatism (ORA) compared to anterior corneal astigmatism. ARVO 2014, Abstract
  14. Moore, Stojanovic, Kugler, and Wang. Corneal scarring after refractive surgery. CRSToday April, 2014:35-37.
  15. Ming Wang, and Lance Kugler. Atlas and Clinical Reference Guide for Corneal Topography. Thorofare: Slack, 2014. Print.
  16. Bracha P, Kugler LJ, Schlichtemeier W, Morgan L. Photorefractive Keratectomy and Laser in situ keratomileusis following conductive keratoplasty: a case series. ASCRS 2014, Poster
  17. Kugler LJ, Morgan LA, Boerman H, Wang M. Topography Atlas. SLACK. In press 2013
  18. Kugler LJ, Hill S, Sztipanovits D, Boerman H, Swartz TS, Wang MX. Corneal melt of incisions overlying corneal ring segments: case series and literature review. Cornea. 2011 Sep. 30(9):968-971
  19. Jackson K, Kugler L, Wang M. Presbyopia-correcting IOLs in patients with Fuchs Dystrophy: indications and contraindications. Refractive Eyecare 15(7):1,27-28
  20. Kugler L, Sztipanovitz D, Wang M. Contraindications to implantation of toric IOLs.  Presentation to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ASCRS), San Diego, CA, April 29, 2011
  21. Hamilton R, Horn J, Kugler L, Nichols B. Panelist, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ASCRS) Paper session 4-0: Intraocular Surgery, Phakic IOLs. San Diego, CA, April 29, 2011
  22. Wang M, Kugler L. Advanced Corneal Topography in Premium IOL Implantation and Keratorefractive Surgery. Instructional course presented at the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ASCRS), San Diego, CA, April 29, 2011
  23. Alpins N, Stametelatos G, Page R, Kugler L. Managing Astigmatism with Toric IOLs and LRIs in Cataract and Refractive Surgery. Instructional course presented at the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ASCRS), San Diego, CA, April 27, 2011
  24. Kugler LJ, Sztipanovits D, Wang M. Contraindications to toric IOLs.  Refractive Eyecare 15(3):1,27-28.
  25. Kugler LJ, Wang M.  “Pseudo” forme fruste keratoconus.  Refractive Eyecare 14(12):1,14
  26. K. C. Baker, Y.-L. Chen, L. Shi, J. W. L. Lewis, L. Kugler, and M. Wang, Does the Posterior Corneal Elevation Provide the First Indication of Keratoconus, Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010 51: E-Abstract 4963.
  27. Kugler LJ, Charters L.  Risk of corneal melt reviewed.  Ophthalmology Times.  Oct 2010:45
  28. Kugler LJ, Cohen I, Haddad W, Wang MX.  Efficacy of LASIK in correcting anterior versus non-anterior corneal astigmatism.  J Cataract and Refractive Surgery.  2010 Oct;36(10) 1745-1752
  29. Kugler L, Wang M.  Lasers in refractive surgery: history, present, and future.  Applied Optics. 2010;49(25) F1-F9 Also published in: Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics. 2010;5(13)
  30. Wang MX, Kugler L.  When it is not the IOL.  Asia-Pacific academy of ophthalmology congress, Beijing, China, September 2010
  31. Wang MX, Kugler L.  Scleral spacing procedure — US FDA clinical trial phase III result.  Asia-Pacific academy of ophthalmology congress, Beijing, China, September 2010
  32. Wang MX, Kugler L.  Asphericity — hype or truth?  Asia-Pacific academy of ophthalmology congress, Beijing, China, September 2010
  33. Wang MX, Kugler L.  Topography and corneal imaging — state of the art.  Asia-Pacific academy of ophthalmology congress, Beijing, China, September 2010
  34. Wang MX, Kugler L.  Pseudo FFKC.  Asia-Pacific academy of ophthalmology congress, Beijing, China, September 2010  
  35. Kugler LJ, Melendez R.  Incorporating premium IOLs into your practice, part 1: laying the groundwork.  American Academy of Ophthalmology, YO-Info newsletter, June 2010.
  36. Kugler LJ, Melendez R.  Incorporating premium IOLs into your practice, part 2: laying the groundwork.  American Academy of Ophthalmology, YO-Info newsletter, July 2010. 
  37. Kugler L, Wang M.  Scleral spacing procedure for the correction of presbyopia.  Gifford-Truhlsen Research Day, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, June 4, 2010
  38. Baker YL, Chen LS, Lewis JWL, Kugler L, Wang M.  Does the posterior corneal elevation provide the first indication of keratoconus? Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, May, 2010 (Poster)
  39. Wang MX, Kugler L.  Pseudo FFKC.  Italian ophthalmological society annual meeting/OSN, Rome, Italy, May 2010
  40. Wang MX, Kugler L.  Corneal factors responsible for performance of premium IOLs.  Italian ophthalmological society annual meeting/OSN, Rome, Italy, May 2010
  41. Kugler L, Sztipanovitz D, Hill S, Boerman H, Wang M. Corneal Melt of Incisions Overlying Corneal Ring Segments: Case Series and Literature Review.  Presentation to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ASCRS), Boston, MA, April 10, 2010
  42. Wang M, Kugler L, Boerman H, Hill S, Sztipanovits D. Non-IOL and non-refractive factors contributing to poor performance of presbyopia-correcting intraocular lenses. Presentation to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ASCRS), Boston, MA, April 11, 2010
  43. Wang M, Kugler L, Boerman H, Sztipanovitz D. Non-IOL and non-refraction factors contributing to poor performance of presbyopia-correcting intraocular lenses.  Presentation to 15th Annual Joint Meeting of OSN, SOI, AICCER, Rome, Italy, May 2010
  44. Kugler L, Wang M. Intrastromal Laser Refractive Surgery.  Cataract and Refractive Surgery Today, 2010;March;10(3):68-70
  45. Kugler L.  Let’s talk about money. Pearls in ophthalmology. 2009;June;4(3)
  46. Kugler L. Transitioning from Supervised Cataract Surgery to Independent Cataract Surgeon: 12 Clinical Pearls.  American Academy of Ophthalmology, YO-Info Newsletter, April 2009.
  47. Kugler L.  Marketing Pearls: Is the Market ready for the promotion of presbyopia-correcting IOLs? Pearls in ophthalmology.  2009;June;4(2)
  48. Margalit, E, Kugler LJ, Brumm MV, Meza JL, Kompella UB, Escobar ER, Christensen GR.  The safety of intraocular ketorolac in rabbits.  Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2006 May;47(5):2093-9
  49. Kugler L.J, Brumm M.V., Christensen G.R., Meza J.L., Margalit E.  Safety of intraocular ketorolac. Gifford-Truhlsen Research Day, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, June 2005 (Presentation)
  50. Kugler L.J, Brumm M.V., Christensen G.R., Meza J.L., Margalit E.  Safety of intraocular ketorolac. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, May, 2005 (Poster)
  51. Kugler L, Margalit E.  Safety of intraocular ketorolac.  Gifford-Truhlsen Research Day, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, June 2004 (Presentation)
  52. Kugler L, Dibernardo C, Margalit E.  Identification of visually significant operculum with no macular hole by optical coherence tomography.  Can J Ophthalmol. 2006 Feb;41(1):41-3
  53. Foster JA, Perry JD, Cahill KV, Holck DE, Kugler L.  Processed human pericardium barrier for gold weight implantation.  Ophthal Plast Reconstr Surg. 2004 Mar;20(2):107-9.
  54. Kugler L, Foster JA, Perry JD, Sputh E.  Processed human pericardium barrier for gold weight implantation.  Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, May, 2001 (Poster)
  55. Kugler L, Eshbaugh C,  Krueger R.  Diffuse Lamellar Keratitis in association with epithelial defects after LASIK, Cleveland Clinic Research Day, Cleveland, Ohio, July 2000
  56. Kugler L, Foster JA, Bardenstein D, Hofer L, Ambekar A. Computer generated periocular measurements and the Rule of Threes in children. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, May, 1999 (Poster)
  57. Ambekar A, Riemann C, Kugler L, Castro, Foster JA.  Kinetic and static Goldmann perimetry to evaluate similar amounts of ptosis related visual field loss. Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, May 1999 (Poster)
  58. Godfrey M, Kugler L, Cisler J, et. al., . Fibrillin Immunofluorescence in “Rule Out” Marfan Syndrome. Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on the Marfan Syndrome, Geneva, Switzerland, 1996 (Abstract)
  59. Godfrey M, Cisler J, DeBie S, Kugler L, Anderson K, DePaepe A. Fibrillin immunofluorescence in “Rule Out” Marfan syndrome. American Journal of Human Genetics 57:1995 A321
  60. Godfrey M, Cisler J, Kugler L, Anderson K, Patil K.  Fibrillin Immunofluorescence in “Rule Out” Marfan Syndrome. Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on the Marfan Syndrome, International Marfan Symposium, Berlin, Germany, 1994 (Abstract)

 

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Omaha Child Vision Collaborative, Building Healthy Futures, Board Member, 2015-present

Aksarben Ball Men’s Floor Committee, 2015 – 2016

American Heart Association, Omaha Chapter, Board Member 2012 – 2013

Nebraska Foundation for Visually Impaired Children (NFVIC)

Executive Board Member, 2005-2009

Wang Foundation for Sight Restoration

Board Member, 2009 – 2010