Looking Back on the History of Laser Vision Correction

Laser eye surgery is better than contacts

The history of laser vision correction is a vast and long one. Since vision loss became a major concern for humans, many have searched for a solution. Two inventions that became temporary solutions to this problem were eyeglasses and contact lenses. The first pair of glasses was invented in the 13th century in Italy and the contact lens was invented in Switzerland in 1888 soon after.

However advanced these solutions became, they were only just temporary. Doctor’s around the world were driven to seek out a more permanent solution. In the 1970s, the excimer laser was invented. Columbia University researcher Stephen L. Trokel was the first to perform laser vision correction with the tool.

Laser Vision Correction Meets Human

Stephen L. Trokel was the first to use this laser on deceased and live animals; however, Marguerite McDonald was the first to use the laser on human subjects. In 1988, a 60-year-old woman was diagnosed with malignant melanoma that had left a black spot on her eye. McDonald used the laser to perform the very first PRK procedure on her. Due to its success, the laser was approved for the procedure by Canada in 1991 and the United States in 1995.

In the eastern hemisphere, two European doctors enhanced PRK by developing what is now called LASIK. In 1990, Ioannis Pillakaris and Lucio Burrato corrected a person’s vision by cutting a thin flap in the cornea, removing the tissue underneath with a laser and replacing the flap like a bandage. This allowed for faster recovery with less discomfort. The procedure was approved in 1999 in the United States.

The Modification of Laser Vision Correction

Laser vision correction is considered a healthcare milestone and is continually being modified and improved to ensure it’s ongoing success for improving individuals’ vision.

In 1990, wavefront analysis was developed by scientists in order to map out a patient’s eye prescription. Data pulled from the analysis is programmed into an excimer laser to precisely reshape a patient’s cornea, which results in a customized procedure with better outcomes. The FDA approved wavefront analysis in 2002, and LASIK became the world’s most common elective procedure.

In addition to laser vision correction innovations of the 1990s, bladeless laser eye surgery also was created. Bladeless LASIK includes a femtosecond laser that creates a corneal flap at the specific depth and diameter that is desired by the surgeon. Whether an individual chooses bladed or bladeless LASIK, both have been proven safe and effective. The only difference is that bladeless LASIK offers a variety of advantages for many candidates.

CorrectVision Laser Institute is one of Florida’s most advanced laser vision correction practices. Our goal is to open your eyes to the world of great vision by offering unparalleled expertise and the most advanced technology available. Contact us today for a consultation!