Dr. Avi Wallerstein

MD, FRCSC

Over 60,000 ocular procedures

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Professional Background

Dr. Avi Wallerstein co-founded LASIK MD along with Dr. Mark Cohen. He is the executive vice president of LASIK MD, and one of its two national medical directors, overseeing medical protocols and quality control as well as over 50 laser eye surgeons. As a board-certified Canadian ophthalmologist, he divides his time between teaching and practicing. He is the director of optics and refractive surgery teaching at McGill University and assistant professor of ophthalmology and attending staff at the McGill University Hospital Centre (MUHC). He also heads the LASIK MD research and development department. Dr. Wallerstein is one of the few ophthalmic surgeons in Canada to have solely dedicated his clinical and surgical practice to vision correction procedures for over 15 years.

Educational Background

Dr. Wallerstein completed his medical degree at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and then specialized in ophthalmology, with a residency at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. He then completed his post-doctoral fellowship training in corneal transplantation, cataract surgery, and laser refractive surgery at Cornell, North Shore University Hospital, and New York University in New York.

Refractive Experience

Dr. Wallerstein is experienced in refractive surgery, having performed over 60,000 ocular procedures. He has acted as a medical consultant in the development of laser eye surgery centres in North America, Europe, and Asia. In Canada, Dr. Wallerstein began his career working for laser vision correction clinics such as the Focus Eye Centre in Ottawa, Montreal’s Ophthalmolaser Clinic, and the LASIK Vision Corporation, where he was the international medical director for 28 clinics in North America and co-chairman of the company’s medical advisory committee. Dr. Wallerstein is certified as a C-LASIK instructor, making him one of 14 surgeons in North America with this designation, allowing him to teach LASIK. He has trained over 200 Canadian ophthalmologists, and oversees the yearly LASIK MD National Surgeon Conference on advanced LASIK techniques.

Throughout his career, Dr. Wallerstein has played an important role in the development of new technologies. He was the first to use the vertical flap LASIK technique with a scanning spot laser in Quebec, which was later adopted as the standard of care in North America. Dr. Wallerstein’s highly specialized practice has allowed him to be proficient in multiple new technologies. He handles complex Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking (CXL) procedures for keratoconus patients combined with excimer laser and topography-guided treatments for challenging corneas. Most recently, Dr. Wallerstein and Dr. Cohen developed PresbyVisionTM, a corneal-based correction for presbyopia, improving reading vision. He has also been the principal investigator, working with manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies on several multi-centre clinic trials in laser vision correction.

Accomplishments and Awards

Dr. Wallerstein and Dr. Cohen were awarded the Howard Stotland Technology Award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006, and the Ernst & Young 2008 Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the professional/financial services category for Quebec, with a Canadian national citation for service excellence. Dr. Wallerstein has given a number of talks to the medical community. He was awarded the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery Best Scientific Paper prize on several occasions, and has more than 90 peer-reviewed published and presented scientific abstracts to his credit. Dr. Wallerstein also established the first Canadian laser eye surgery teaching curriculum for ophthalmology students, and has developed and implemented the only electronic medical records software specialized for laser vision correction.

Associations and Professional Memberships
  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, FRCS(C)
  • Canadian Ophthalmological Society, COS
  • Canadian Association of University Professors of Refractive Surgery, CAUPRS
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology, AAO
  • International Society of Refractive Surgery, ISRS
  • American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, ASCRS
  • European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons, ESCRS
Dr. Avi Wallerstein's publications
Under-Flap Stromal Bed CXL for Early Port-LASIK Ectasia: A Novel Treatment Technique

Wallerstein A, Adiguzel E, Gauvin M, Mohammad-Shahi N, Cohen M. | Clinical Ophthalmology, vol.11 2016

Outcomes of LASIK Enhancement After Primary PRK Regression

Taha M, Adiguzel E, Wallerstein A, Cohen M. | ASCRS San Diego, April 2015

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LASIK MD surgeons are among the most sought-after in the field of vision correction.
  • ​​​​​They remain up-to-date on latest laser vision technologies and techniques
  • They teach surgeons-in-training at prominent universities 
  • They conduct ongoing research in the field of refractive surgery

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