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.


Welcome to the surgical facility of The Laser Institute at Empire Eye Physicians. Our facility is designed to comfort patients in an extraordinary professional setting. We offer you a remarkable combination of advanced surgical skill and state-of-the-art medical laser technology. Our elite team of eye physicians and staff are here to care for you in a very personalized manner. 

The information that follows is designed to give you a better understanding of iLASIK eye surgery so you can decide if iLASIK is right for you or a loved one.

About the Procedure

iLASIK (Laser Assisted in-Situ Keratomileusis) is a surgical procedure of the front surface eye tissue (the cornea) developed to improve unaided vision. The procedure involves using eye drops to anesthetize the eye and placing a "blink holder" between the eyelids. The surgeon creates a "flap" of the cornea tissue with the IntraLase™ FS (femtosecond) Laser. The computer-guided, ultra-fast laser virtually eliminates almost all of the most severe, sight threatening LASIK complications related to microkeratomes*. The FS Laser also creates an optimal surface below the flap, allowing bettter visual outcomes.

The created "flap" is laid back and excimer laser energy is presented to the exposed cornea. The precise laser beam removes a fine amount of tissue to reshape the corneal curvatures and correct vision. The flap is folded back to its original position to begin healing immediately. The flap acts as a natural protective covering for the surgery area. For most patients the entire procedure is relatively painless. Initially some patients may experience slight discomfort but most are comfortable soon after the procedure. 

iLASIK eye surgery is performed at The Laser Institute as an outpatient surgery. It takes only seconds to treat a lifetime of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. The entire surgical visit usually lasts less than a total of 2 hours. Preparing for surgery requires discontinued use of contact lenses and extensive eye evaluation before surgery. We routinely work with your family eye doctor to obtain information about your eyes. Following surgery, healing is evaluated with continued visits for several months. Although some activities may not be recommended for a week or so after iLASIK, most patients return to normal activities with functional vision within only a few days.

The Technology

In the early 1980's, VISX® developed the first excimer laser designed with precision and predictability to alter the shape of the cornea. Since then, VISX has become a worldwide leader in laser technology and is the most utilized laser system in the United States. By modifying the shape and placement of the laser beam, the VISX system can treat combinations of farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism with accuracy. The VISX Star S4 system incorporates the most advanced laser technology including the ActiveTrak 3D eye tracking system, variable spot scanning, and the recent FDA approved CustomVue laser vision correction. CustomVue correction sets a new standard for vision correction incorporating the diagnostic information of the entire visual system obtained through WaveScan analysis. The CustomVue option tailors a unique pattern of correction for each individual, employing data 25 times more precise than previously measurable by standard methods for glasses or contact lenses. Preoperative testing will determine if you are a CustomVue candidate. 

Is iLASIK Right for You?

iLASIK is a remarkable surgical procedure that has aided the vision of over 1.5 million patients in the U.S. Due to advances in medical technology, patients now have surgical options for vision correction in addition to traditional glasses or contact lenses. However, not everyone is a candidate for surgery. The ideal candidate is over 18 years of age and must have healthy corneas. Patients who have certain medical conditions, compromised immune systems, or that are on certain medications may not be candidates for this surgery. Women who are pregnant or nursing are not recommended to have iLASIK. Also, patients with changing vision, a history of certain eye health conditions, or certain prescriptions may not be candidates for iLASIK. 

iLASIK is a very serious personal decision. The iLASIK procedure is an elective eye surgery with associated risks. It is important that you understand the procedure, it's limitations, and that your decision is based on knowledge of what this procedure may realistically offer you. The goal of iLASIK is to reduce your dependence on corrective lenses. iLASIK does not always create 20/20 vision. iLASIK does not correct presbyopia (the need for reading glasses with age) and thus people over the age of 40 often require reading glasses even after their distance vision has been corrected. 

To find out if you are a candidate for this potentially life-changing procedure call The Laser Institute at (800) 872-6132 to schedule a complimentary consultation and speak with one of our laser surgery coordinators. 

Click Here to learn more about iLASIK.

*Durrie, Daniel, "Randomized Prospective Clinical Study of LASIK: IntraLase Laser versus Mechanical Keratome" American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, May 4, 2004.