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University of Iowa News Release

April 8, 2003

UI Laser Eye Surgery Center Expands, Upgrades

Laser eye surgery specialists at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics are treating patients in a newly expanded and upgraded facility that features the most advanced state-of-the-art technology for performing LASIK surgery and other vision correction procedures.

The center's recently acquired VISX Star S4 eye surgery laser is larger than previous systems used for surgeries such as LASIK and required additional space. The re-modeled area measures 20 feet by 14 feet, compared to its former 12 feet by 11 feet dimensions. The expanded facility provides more storage space and additional room for observers.

"We wanted to improve the experience for patients and their families," said John Sutphin, M.D., UI professor (clinical) of ophthalmology and visual sciences and a specialist in refractive corneal surgery "They like the extra room, and I appreciate the increased elbow room during procedures and our enhanced teaching capabilities."

The advanced technology enables eye surgeons to automatically align and track the eye in three-dimensions during surgery without having to dilate the pupils of the patient's eyes.

"We can tailor surgery to the individual patient, and we will have the capability of adding customized ablation as soon as the FDA approves the process for patients," Sutphin added. "In select circumstances we will be able to cut a preview lens to show patients what surgery is anticipated to do for their vision."

The process of planning, equipping and enlarging the new facility took about a year. The cost of the project totaled approximately $430,000. For more information about vision correction treatments at UI Hospitals and Clinics, visit online at

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room 8798 JPP, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,