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David Folden, MD


  • Cataract Surgery
  • Laser Cataract Surgery
  • Refractive / Clear Lens Exchange
  • Blaine
  • Coon Rapids
  • Edina LASIK Center

David Folden, MD


Dr. Folden specializes in cataract, LASIK, and refractive lens implant surgery.  He is certified on the LENSARTM femtosecond laser for cataract surgery, ZiemerTM femtosecond laser, and the WaveLight® EX500 topographic-guided excimer laser, providing customized refractive cataract surgery, LASIK, and PRK.

As a board-certified ophthalmologist, Dr. Folden has performed over 15,000 cataract, LASIK, and refractive eye surgeries.  His interest and expertise in cataract surgery includes the use of the LENSARTM femtosecond laser and intraocular lens (IOL) technologies.

As an early adopter of femtosecond laser technology, Dr. Folden is now among the most experienced laser cataract surgeons in the state of Minnesota.  He has designed surgical instruments used in laser cataract surgery, enhancing safety and comfort for patients undergoing this procedure.

Dr. Folden’s experience with IOLs includes the Light Adjustable Lens (LAL), multifocal, extended depth of focus (EDOF) and astigmatism-correcting (Toric) IOLs.  He was the first resident surgeon at the University of Minnesota to implant these advanced technology IOLs, giving patients reduced dependence on glasses, bifocals, and/or contact lenses.  Dr. Folden was instrumental in bringing the Light Adjustable Lens to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, popularizing an “open-access” availability to this technology for both patients and surgeons.  He authored the first visual outcome data for the second-generation LAL in the worldwide peer-reviewed literature.

Dr Folden is active in research, publishing his work in various journals including the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, Clinical Ophthalmology, and the American Journal of Ophthalmology.  He is frequently included in “Top Doctor” lists and was one of six physicians in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area “reshaping medicine in the Twin Cities and beyond through cutting-edge techniques, technologies, research, and approaches to patient care” featured in the July 2023, Mpls. St.Paul Magazine cover story.

Dr. Folden was born in Minot, North Dakota, and later attended high school in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, where he was Valedictorian of his high school class.  He then graduated Magna Cum Laude from Bethel University, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree. Before beginning medical school, Dr. Folden worked as a high school math and physics teacher and was a baseball coach. He then received his medical degree (MD) from the University of North Dakota where he gained recognition for his research in cardiac physiology and infectious disease.  Dr. Folden then completed his internship at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) and his ophthalmology residency at the University of Minnesota where he received awards for outstanding patient care, clinical skills (Harry Plotke Award), and scientific research (Harry Friedman Research Award).


  • Surgical Residency:
    University of Minnesota
    Ophthalmology Program
    Minneapolis, MN
  • Internship:
    Hennepin County Medical Center
    Transitional Year Program
    Minneapolis, MN
  • Medical School:
    University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Science, Doctor of Medicine (MD)
  • Undergraduate:
    Bethel University, St. Paul, MN, Bachelor of Science, Biology

Awards and Recognitions

  • Top Doctor, Mpls.St Paul Magazine 2022, 2023, 2024
  • Top Doctor, Minnesota Monthly 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
  • Rising Star, Mpls.St Paul Magazine 2015, 2016, 2017
  • Top Cataract Surgeon, Sightpath Medical 2013
  • Best Cataract Surgeons In America, BCA 2022, 2023

Professional Affiliations

  • American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • Minnesota Academy of Ophthalmology

Published Works

  1. Wong J.R., Folden D.V., Wandling G.W., Schaefer S., Stephens J., Boots C., Nichols C.J., Everson M.H., Johnson R. (2023) Visual Outcomes of a Second-Generation, Enhanced UV Protected Light Adjustable Lens in Cataract Patients with Previous LASIK and/or PRK. Clinical Ophthalmology 17:3379–3387
  2. Folden D.V., Wong J.R. (2022) Visual Outcomes of an Enhanced UV Protected Light Adjustable Lens Using a Novel Co-Managed, Open-Access Methodology. Clinical Ophthalmology 16:2413-2420
  3. Folden, D.V. (2021) August Consultation #5. Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery 47:8, 1098-1099
  4. Folden, D.V., Groves, N. (2015) Surgeon-designed tool eases opening of laser-created corneal incisions. Double-ended dissector combines semi-blunted leading tip with sharp-edge design.  Ophthalmology Times 40:8, 23
  5. Cooke, D.L., Davison, J.A., Folden, D.V., Holladay, J.T., Masket, S. (2014) Treating, eliminating negative dysphotopsia. EyeWorld 19:4, 38-42
  6. Folden, D.V. (2013) Neodymium:YAG laser anterior capsulectomy: Surgical option in the management of negative dysphotopsia. Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery 39:7, 1110-1115
  7. Folden, D.V., Kramarevsky, N.Y., Brown, C.D., Kaufman, S.C. (2008) Microkeratome Cut Time as a Variable in Endothelial Keratoplasty Graft Thickness. Archives of Ophthalmology (submitted)
  8. Folden, D.V., Kramarevsky, N.Y., Brown, C.D., Kaufman, S.C. (2008) Intrachamber Pressure and Donor Corneal Thickness in an Artificial Anterior Chamber System. Archives of Ophthalmology (submitted)
  9. Folden, D.V., Wu, C.W., Hardten, D.R., Afiat, S., Mellema, P.A., Hoffman, G.M., Voelker, P.A., Melicher Larson, J.S., Connett, J.E., Doughman, D.J. (2009) Use of Cobalt Blue Light in Grading Cataract and Estimating Vision Loss. Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery 35:2, 312-317
  10. Folden, D.V., Lee, M.S., Ryan, E.J., Jr. (2008) Interferon Beta-1 Alpha Associated Retinopathy in Patients Treated for Multiple Sclerosis. Neurology 70:13 (Part 2), 1153-1155
  11. Olsen, T.W., Feng, X., Wabner, K., Contson, S.R., Sierra, D., Folden, D.V., Smith, M.E., Cameron, J.D. (2006) Cannulation of the Suprachoroidal Space:  A Novel Drug Delivery Methodology to the Posterior Segment.  American Journal of Ophthalmology 142:5, 777-787
  12. Folden, D.V., Machayya, J.A., Sahmoun, A.E., Beal, J.R., Holzman, G.S., Helgerson, S.D., Lo, T.S. (2005) Estimating the proportion of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: two definitions used in the USA yield dramatically different estimates. Journal of Hospital Infection 60, 329-332
  13. Folden, D.V., Gupta, A., Sharma, A.C., Li, S.Y., Saari J.T., Ren, J. (2003) Malondialdehyde inhibits cardiac contractile function in ventricular myocytes via a p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase-dependent mechanism. British Journal of Pharmacology 139, 1310-1316
  14. Folden, D.V., Jones, W. (1999) Promoter Analysis of the Human Prostate-Specific, Homeobox Gene, NKX3.1. BIOS 70:4, 158-165

Surgical Instruments

  • Folden Femto Dissector.  Rhein Medical, Inc.  Product #:  8-10144.  February, 2015 – present.  Description:  A single surgical instrument designed for simplifying laser-created corneal incision opening and improving post-operative comfort for patients undergoing laser cataract surgery.
  • Folden – Lobanoff Femto Dissector.  MicroSurgical Technology (MST).  Product #:  AH4610.  2020 – present.  Description:  Double-ended dissector used for opening laser-created corneal incisions in cataract surgery.  Its novel design provides added safety and control for contact and non-contact based femtosecond lasers.


Dr. Folden and his wife have two young children.  For entertainment, he enjoys downhill skiing, video games, reading, local restaurants, and travel.

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