Nurse Anesthetist

Chris Bender, DNAP, CRNA, APRN

Sioux Falls, SD

Chris Bender is a nurse anesthetist who specializes in administering conscious sedation during cataract, glaucoma, corneal, and oculoplastic surgery and cares for patients with a bit of humor to alleviate their fears. Read More


Meet Chris Bender

Chris has always been a bit of a trailblazer. He has been the first and sole provider of anesthesia for Vance Thompson Vision for the past 11 years. He also was the first doctoral graduate from a private institution in South Dakota at Mount Marty University.

His invention of MKO Melt (Imprimis Pharmaceuticals), a medication causing conscious sedation, challenged the status quo of anesthesia. The sedation method fits right into Chris’s care philosophy for patients to feel as comfortable as possible while providing alternatives to traditional IV sedation.

Chris currently serves integral roles with the Ophthalmic Anesthesia Society and Mount Marty University's Benedictine Leadership Institute.


  • Mount Marty University

Awards & Honors

  • Inventor of the MKO Melt (Imprimis Pharmaceuticals)
  • Ophthalmic Anesthesia Society’s board of directors member, executive leadership committee member, and treasurer, as well as co-chair of its annual scientific meeting planning committee
  • First person to receive a doctoral degree from Mount Marty University
  • Mount Marty University's Benedictine Leadership Institute advisory board

Personal & Hobbies

Chris’s happy place is the lake, where he and his family can be found boating, barbecuing, and watching sunsets. He and his wife love continuing his mom’s special tradition of baking peanut butter fudge and sharing it with friends and family.