Two of the best-known Quad-City physicians — Dr. Amir and Dr. Lisa Arbisser — have announced plans to retire.

“Life is turning to a new season for us,” says Dr. Lisa. "It’s time we take a slower look at things.” They will be in their clinics during October and December, and after that, she says, “things will be different, but still busy in our own ways.”

The two ophthalmologists — in practice for 30 years — are physicians, philanthropists and educators. Dr. Lisa figures that she has performed 25,000 to 30,000 cataract surgeries. Their eight clinics have served three generations of patients.

It has been busy, hustling, often-hectic decades of running from one clinic room and corridor to another for the Arbissers, but the two say they have been blessed and have loved every moment of it. “All the sight we have saved is our treasure,” she says.

“Omigosh, but by now we have four children and two grandchildren,” Dr. Lisa says. “We need more time to spend with them.”

Dr. Lisa is 60. Her husband is 65. While her time has been involved in anterior segment surgery (cataracts and other eye concerns), Dr. Amir’s specialty is pediatric sight.

Their practice has always been together, beginning with tiny offices in Muscatine that have expanded to Eye Surgeons Associates with 22 doctors and 180 employees.

Speaking via cellphone on Wednesday while they were driving to their country weekend place near Pawling, N.Y., Dr. Amir reminisced about their meager beginnings.

“I started with a single examining room in another doctor’s office," he said. “When a woman got stuck in my examining chair, I decided more equipment was needed. I expanded.” Dr. Lisa, who had been a friend when they were at Princeton University, joined the fledgling Muscatine practice.

It has been a busy professional lifestyle for the two, who are not only physicians but also savvy business people. Their current venture is a network of mini-suites in airports at Atlanta, Philadelphia and Dallas. Next is Chicago.

“We’ve always been busy at something in our 30 years of marriage,” he says.

The Arbissers believe in giving back to their community in diverse ways. Ten years ago, they treated 5,000 of her former cataract patients to a free performance of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

“I wanted them to see all the magic and wonders that they were missing when they had cataracts,” Dr. Lisa says.

What of their clinics after their retirement?

“There are 12 owners now, all professionals who will carry on perfectly,” Dr. Amir says.

The Arbissers will continue to call Davenport “home,” but after December, they plan on some time at their unusual beachside home on Siesta Key in Sarasota, Fla.

(11) comments


[thumbup] We're no longer in the QC area, but just saw this article, so I had to comment. What a great couple! I only met Lisa at the business end of an eye operation, but have to accept on faith that Amir is as nice and accomplished as she is. Literally, they bring light into every life that they touch. (What a shame that we can't choose people like this for public office.) But what we can do is wish them well in this next phase of their lives, which I trust will be another type of contribution to those fortunate enough to know them. All the best to them and their families.


surgery in Muscatine over 30 yrs ago for my daughter. Dr. Amir has 'recognized' me anytime we ran into each other. Terrific treatment then and to this day when we use 'eye surgeons'. So first of all, I would say to them, thank you and God bless. Your hard work has been well rewarded; and that's well deserved. Thanks also for your paying forward and giving it back. Lastly, if you've not seen so!!

pta mom

To clarify: the Arbissers are amazing and wonderful and caring and generous people. I have nothing but praise for them (their kids are also great. Talented, too.). But, as others have taken over the Eye Surgeons business, I think service has gotten substantially less caring, with emphasis on profit before people.


Wonderful People ~~ !!


I as well as my family members have seen both of these good doctors and I wish them well in their retirement. We have never experienced anything but the most caring , considerate and compassionate care from both of them as well as the other doctors that we have seen at Eye Surgeons!!


pta mom and Rainbows - can I get you a saucer of milk?.....


This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article.


I agree with both comments. Maybe that's why they are getting out. Happy retirement. 25000 to 30000 cataract surgeries bought you some beautiful homes.


Well, gee.....thanks for wishing them well in their retirement! Hope you feel better now that you've gotten THAT off your chest. As for me and my family, we've experienced nothing less than caring, concerned doctors at Eye Surgeons Associates. Happy Retirement, Dr. Lisa and Dr. Amir! You so deserve it.....

pta mom

The Arbissers have always been good citizens and good physicians. We (all 4 family members) have gone to Eye Surgeons for 20 years-(collectively, a tad under 80 years) In recent years, care and service have declined considerably. What used to be a caring healthcare provider is now bottom-line-calculating coldness, masquerading as professionalism.


In the mid-90's, my father began experiencing Parkinsonian-like symptoms, but without the classic sideways fall and tremor. After seeing neurologists, geriatric specialists, and others, it was a visit to Dr. Lisa Arbisser that finally brought the diagnosis: Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, a condition in the Parkinson's family but much, much rarer. (1 in 20,000 people have or will have Parkinson's; 1 in 100,000 will have PSP.) Dr. Lisa was the first to observe Dad's lack of vertical eye movement, which is the classic symptom that sets PSP apart from Parkinson's. My family will be forever grateful for the diagnosis that at least let us know what we were dealing with and what we could expect as he walked towards the sunset over the next five years. Thank you again, Dr. Lisa.

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