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Looking Back at the History of LASIK Surgery

Eye surgery.

LASIK surgery has helped millions of people correct optical issues that affect their vision. If you and your ophthalmologist have discussed this procedure as a possible treatment for your eye issues, keep reading to learn more about the history of this revolutionary procedure and how it has improved through the years.

Lasers and Eye Treatments

In the 1970s, the invention of the excimer laser gave Stephen L. Trokel, a researcher at Columbia University, a reason to study how this laser could be used to correct vision issues. By 1988, Trokel’s colleague, Marguerite McDonald, performed the first photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) surgery on a woman with malignant melanoma. By 1991, Canada officially approved the excimer laser and used it to perform PRK surgery—the U.S. followed suit in 1995.

Advancements in Laser Eye Treatment

In 1990, Greek eye doctor Ioannis Pillakaris and Italian eye doctor Lucio Burrato managed to make this new laser eye surgery more effective. Instead of pointing the laser to the top of the corneal surface like doctors had been doing, they decided to cut a small flap in the cornea and use the laser on the underlying tissue. Once this was complete, they replaced the flap. These new additions made the procedure more effective and reduced recovery time, which paved the way for modern LASIK surgery.

Better Precision for LASIK

By 1999, doctors figured out how to use technology to actually map a patient’s prescription. Each corneal map serves as a kind of fingerprint for a specific person. Using this technology allows ophthalmologists to get even more precision with laser treatments, so they can offer their patients the best results.

If you are ready to give LASIK a try, Dr. Mark Hornfeld can help. As one of New York City’s top ophthalmologists, Dr. Hornfeld has extensive experience in performing procedures like LASIK to give his patients the kind of results they want. To learn more about LASIK or other services, visit our website or call (646) 681-3100.