LASIK surgery is so commonplace today that it seems the procedure has been around forever. But in reality, LASIK has only been common in the U.S. for just over 20 years. Here’s a brief history of laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK).
First, what is LASIK? LASIK is a reshaping of the cornea using a laser. Why does this vastly improve a patient’s vision? When the cornea is either too flat or short that makes a person farsighted. When it is too long or curved too sharply, a person is nearsighted. And if the cornea is distorted or flattens unevenly, the person has astigmatism and focusing ability is flawed. LASIK reshapes these cornea problems to improve the vision of the patient.
It started in Columbia
In the 1950s in Bogota, Columbia, Spanish ophthalmologist Jose Barraquer was the first to test reshaping the cornea to improve vision. He developed the microkeratome, the blade that makes the cut in the outer cornea in LASIK procedures before the laser then reshapes the inner cornea. Back in 1950, Barraquer used the blade to reshape the cornea.
In 1980 at the IBM Research Laboratory, it was discovered that an ultraviolet excimer laser could etch living tissue without thermal damage to the surrounding area. As the 80s progressed several patents were issued for surgical lasers, the last in 1989 was to specifically modify corneal curvature.
LASIK was used in Europe and elsewhere before it was approved by the FDA in the U.S. Trials began in the U.S. in 1989. LASIK was then first approved in 1992.
LASIK at Griffeth
Tired of dealing with contacts or glasses, maybe it’s time to have LASIK at Griffeth Vision.