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Welcome to Eyes of the Southwest

Las Cruces Eye SurgeonWelcome to Eyes of the Southwest where our dedication to leading edge technology is surpassed only by our commitment to personal patient care. Our team of eye care professionals pride themselves in offering quality care with knowledge, skill, and compassion in a high-tech and comfortable environment.

Eyes of the Southwest featured in Las Cruces Sun-News

State-of-the-Art Bladeless Laser for Cataract Surgery

Eyes of the Southwest was featured in the Las Cruces Sun-News, and is the first clinic in New Mexico/El Paso to use this cutting edge bladeless laser for cataract surgery.

Click here to read the full article (pdf opens in new window)

Our Doctors

Edward V. Hernandez, MD

Ed Hernande at_5.39.13_PM_r2_c2Dr. Edward V. Hernandez is a board certified ophthalmologist specializing in cataract surgery and the treatment of ocular disease. Dr. Hernandez was born and raised in California. He attended the University of California, Irvine where he graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelors of Science degree in biology. While attending the University of California, Irvine, Dr. Hernandez conducted research in the field of vision physiology and was the recipient of many honors and awards for his academic achievements. He was accepted into multiple medical schools but chose to attend the University of California, San Francisco where he continued to conduct vision research in the electrophysiology of the retina and co-published a number of scientific journal papers. During his medical school he also completed a research project and co-authored a paper in the electrophysiology of the retina at the University of California, Los Angeles, Jules Stein Institute. After completing a medical internship at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, California he completed his ophthalmology training as chief resident at the University of California, Davis. In addition to his academic achievements, Dr. Hernandez holds a patent on a novel ocular device under development for the treatment of dry eye. Dr. Hernandez arrived in Las Cruces and began practicing ophthalmology in 1998. He is now owner/president of Eyes of the Southwest, a state-of-the-art ophthalmology practice in Las Cruces, NM. He is a member of many professional medical associations such as the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He is board certified to practice in the states of New Mexico, California and Texas. He met his wife in high school and they have 2 daughters. Outside of work, Dr. Hernandez enjoys being with his family, skiing, hunting and traveling.

Carla Wendler, OD

Carla WendlerDr. Carla Wendler was born in El Paso and raised in the nearby town of Canutillo, Texas. After graduating from high school she completed both her undergraduate and post graduate work at the University of Houston and received her Doctor of Optometry degree in 1999. While in optometry school she was a teaching assistant for second year optometry students, as well as an instructor for TEXOCOP, a summer program for college students pursuing a career in optometry. She was also the recipient of a clinical excellence award. She received additional clinical training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas and Barnet Dulaney Eyecare in Arizona.

She has been practicing optometry for 18 years and in the course of her career, has had the privilege of working across several states, including Colorado, Minnesota, Texas and New Mexico.During this tenure, she worked alongside pediatric ophthalmologists, diagnosing and managing patients with various types of amblyopia and strabismus, along with providing care to children with special needs. Aside from the above experience, she also gained extensive experience working in a multidisciplinary setting, providing care to patients with cataracts, glaucoma, diabetes, macular degeneration and other ocular anomalies.

She is grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in volunteer eye care missions abroad in Honduras, Nicaragua, and Mexico, which also allowed her to utilize her Spanish fluency. She is a member of the American Optometric Association and New Mexico Optometric Association.

She enjoys serving a diverse population, strives to provide the best quality care possible, and looks forward to serving the people of Las Cruces and surrounding areas. Outside of work, She enjoys spending quality time with her husband, and their three children.

Elisabeth Hottel, OD

Carla WendlerDr. Elisabeth Hottel was born and raised in Iowa City, Iowa. She attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where she graduated as a member of Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology and a minor in Spanish. Dr. Hottel graduated summa cum laude from the University of Houston, College of Optometry in 2017, becoming a fourth generation optometrist. She was trained at Plaza Vision Center in Dallas, Texas, with a focus on prescribing specialty contact lenses, and at Golden Eye Clinic in Center, Texas, with a focus on primary care in a rural setting. She was trained in minor surgical procedures and the use of LASERs for the treatment of glaucoma and secondary cataracts at DeSoto Parish Regional Eye Institution and Surgery Center in Logansport, Louisiana. Throughout optometry school, she was recognized for her contributions while serving as the President and Vision Screening Coordinator of Student Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (SVOSH), among other leadership positions. Additionally, she received awards for her academic achievements and clinical excellence in prescribing gas permeable contact lenses. Dr. Hottel is a member of Beta Sigma Kappa International Optometric Honor Society. She was selected by her peers to be awarded membership in the Gold Key International Optometric Society, the highest honor for leadership as a student of optometry.

Throughout her time as an undergraduate and postgraduate student, she participated in numerous volunteer organizations, primarily focused on serving in the medical field. She has participated in optometric volunteer missions in Texas, Honduras, and Mexico with SVOSH, Unite for Sight, and Rotary International. She feels fortunate to have had these opportunities to further her optometric experience as well as her Spanish proficiency, while helping those in need.

Outside of work, Dr. Hottel enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors. In addition to optometry, she is passionate about dance and becoming multilingual. She is excited to build a life in Las Cruces and provide eye care for the patients of Eyes of the Southwest.

Summer Lara, OD

summerlaraDr. Summer Lara was born and raised in Las Cruces, New Mexico. She attended New Mexico State University, where she graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and a minor in biochemistry and was distinguished as a Crimson Scholar for exceptional academic achievement. Dr. Lara went on to attend the University of Houston College of Optometry, where she was recognized for excellence in pediatric optometry, cornea and contact lens and practice management. During optometry school, Dr. Lara received additional clinical experience at the Eye Center of Texas, where she provided pre- and postoperative cataract and LASIK care and managed conditions such as macular degeneration and glaucoma. She also gained experience in practice management and innovative eye care at Signature Eye Care in the northern suburbs of Austin, Texas.

Upon graduating from optometry school, Dr. Lara earned a coveted residency position at the University of California, Berkeley, where she specialized in pediatric and primary care optometry. While at Berkeley, Dr. Lara had the opportunity to treat infants, children and adults with special visual needs including amblyopia, strabismus and binocular vision disorders. Dr. Lara also provided eye health and vision screenings for children in Head Start programs throughout the San Francisco Bay Area in an effort to promote their readiness for school and allow the greatest potential for academic success. During this time, she presented several academic lectures at UC Berkeley and the San Francisco and Palo Alto VA Medical Center and co-authored a paper regarding the attachment behavior of children with visual impairment and their caretakers.

Upon completing her residency, Dr. Lara practiced in Charlotte, North Carolina and Denver, Colorado where she treated patients of all ages by providing personalized eye care in both a community family practice and a specialty pediatric setting. During this time, she continued to organize vision screenings for local children. Anticipating her return to New Mexico, Dr. Lara attended Spanish immersion programs in Spain and Costa Rica in an effort to better serve her patients.

Dr. Lara loves spending quality time with her family and friends, traveling, cycling, skiing and yoga. She is thrilled to return to New Mexico to serve this incredible community.

What We Do

Las Cruces Eye DoctorEyes of the Southwest offers a complete menu of services.

Patient Forms

For your convenience we have provided our patient forms on the website to shorten your time in the waiting room. Please take the time to print and fill these forms out before your appointment, and bring with you day of appointment.

New Patient Information
(This is a pdf document.  Right-click and choose SAVE AS or DOWNLOAD LINKED FILE AS to save to your computer).

Contact Us

contactusPhone: 575-523-2020
Address: 2810 N. Telshor Blvd
Las Cruces, NM

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