SPOKANE (509) 928-8040 : HAYDEN (208) 762-0605
COEUR D'ALENE (208) 664-9888

Mark Kontos, M.D. : Christopher Sturbaum, M.D. : David Skale, M.D. : Casey Claypool, O.D. : Ali Heaton, O.D.

Laser Cataract Surgery



Empire Eye Physicians Now Offers Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery 

Empire Eye Physicians was the first practice in the Inland Northwest and is the first and only in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene region to offer patients the new standard in precision cataract surgery with laser-assisted cataract surgery. At our state-of-the-art surgery center, Dr. Kontos and Dr. Sturbaum can provide a comfortable, highly customized cataract procedure with precision not achievable with traditional manual techniques. 

How does it work and what are the steps? 

Traditional cataract surgery requires the incisions be made by hand using sharp instruments. However, every eye has a unique size and shape. With laser-assisted cataract surgery, the surgeon is able to view a 3D map of the cataract and guide the laser in creating exact, precise incisions without any potential error of a hand-held blade. This enables Empire Eye surgeons to create a customized treatment plan that matches the uniqueness of each eye.

Next, the surgeon uses the laser to create a circular opening for accessing and removing the cataract. Clinical studies have shown that this opening is approximately 10 times more accurate when performed with the laser than what is achievable by hand. (*1,2) The laser then softens and breaks up the hard cataract into tiny pieces, allowing for gentler, easier cataract removal. (*3) In addition, we have seen and studies have shown there is more rapid recovery and less inflammation following laser-assisted cataract surgery than traditional cataract surgery (*4).

Depending on the patient’s pre-operative vision and desired visual result, our surgeons may recommend a tailored treatment plan that could include creating ultra-precise laser incisions in the cornea to reduce or eliminate astigmatism and a specific clear lens type, such as a multi-focal or toric lenses. This tailored treatment may reduce a patient’s need for glasses or contacts after surgery.

What are the benefits of laser-assisted cataract surgery? 

  • A highly customized procedure using advanced 3D imaging
  • A more precise treatment
  • A gentler and easier cataract removal
  • Generally, a more rapid visual recovery due to reduced inflammation (*4)
  • The opportunity to receive tailored treatment with advanced technology multi-focal lenses, which may reduce the need for glasses or contacts after surgery

How do I know if I can have laser-assisted cataract surgery?

Nearly everyone who qualifies for cataract surgery can benefit from laser-assisted cataract surgery.  Talk with your doctor about laser-assisted cataract surgery or call our office for a cataract consultation.  Empire Eye Physicians has a long-standing history of working with your local family optometrist and is committed to providing you the latest in state-of-the-art cataract surgical treatment in a comfortable, caring, low-stress environment.

Contact us to learn more about Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery. 



(509) 928-8040 SPOKANE 
(208) 762-0605 HAYDEN 

GOT QUESTIONS? Please give us a call or simply fill out form below and a representative will get back to you promptly.



  • 1. Friedman, NJ, et al., “Femtosecond Laser Capsulotomy,” Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, 2011 July; 37(7): 1189-1198 
  • 2. Palanker, D., et al., “Femtosecond Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery with Integrated Optical Coherence Tomography,” Science Translational Medicine, Vol 2 Issue 58: 1-9 (2010) 
  • 3. Burkhard HD., “The synergy of MICS and femtosecond lasers: The future of small incision cataract surgery” Ophthalmology Times Europe, 2012 April; Vol 8 Issue 3 
  • 4. Burkhard HD., “Femtosecond cataract surgery outcomes: an advance or not?” Proceedings from the XXX Congress of the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery in Milan, Italy. September 2012.