Dr. Tim McGarity first established an interest in the anatomy of the eye during his second year of medical school at the University of Arkansas, where he graduated in 2002. He was determined that restoring sight quickly was a valuable field, and in 2011, he was given an opportunity to run a business.
Then an assistant professor of clinical ophthalmology at the University of Missouri, McGarity had already put his medical and surgical residencies in ophthalmology into use. But that July, H. Kell Yang recruited him to take over patient care of his practice, which made him the owner and founder of Tim D. McGarity M.D., an official laser eye surgery clinic.
Later renamed to Restoration Eye Care to better express its goals and purpose, the clinic specializes in LASIK and cataract surgery, though it also offers procedures for glaucoma and eyelids and performs other general eye tests.
“We updated the name because we wanted our name to reflect what we do,” McGarity says.
McGarity compares the human eye to a camera, for which there are two lenses that allow you to focus and see a clear image. The front lens, which is the cornea, is the target of LASIK. The inside lens, called the crystalline lens, is the target of cataract surgery.
Although eye surgeries come with side effects, McGarity describes LASIK as a typically painless, quick and safe procedure. He says that complications are extremely rare, and reducing side effects is simple: Just close your eyes to let them heal, and use eye drops to prevent discomfort. Surgery patients may have foggy vision for the first day or two following the procedure, but their sight will be surprisingly crisp afterward, McGarity says.
“We use all laser technology, meaning no blades,” McGarity adds. “We invested heavily in technology and lasers, which provides more accuracy and safety.”
The cost of the procedure ranges from $1,600 to $2,400, depending on the circumstances.
Restoration Eye Care performs an average of 40 LASIK surgeries and 100 cataract surgeries per month, McGarity says. However, last month the clinic saw an increased amount of LASIK procedures.
“It’s an economically driven business,” McGarity says. “Our growth rate has increased with the progressive rebound of the economy.”
With that increased business, Restoration Eye Care has outgrown its clinic capacity, and to accommodate the growth, McGarity plans to open a new and bigger clinic by early 2015. The eye clinic, which operates primarily out of Columbia, began serving northern Missouri toward the end of 2013. In the early months of 2014, McGarity and staff also began serving the Lake of the Ozarks region.