When Did Laser Eye Surgery Start?

Contrary to what many people think laser eye surgery has actually been around for over 20 years and other types of refractive surgery have been around for even longer.
The first type of refractive (vision correction) surgery was called radial keratotomy (RK) and was developed by a Russian surgeon called Dr Fyodorov in the 1970s. This technique did not, however, involve the use of a laser but instead relied on tiny incisions being made in the cornea to improve the vision. The history of laser eye surgery is as follows:

  • Although the theory behind the use of lasers in refractive surgery had been around for about 50 years, the first laser eye surgery (PRK) was actually performed in Germany in 1988.
  • The first USA FDA trial of Lasik began in 1989.
  • In 1998 the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved the use of Lasik for correcting long-sightedness, short-sightedness and astigmatism.
  • Since Lasik began, laser technology has improved dramatically. Today’s lasers are quicker and more precise giving a safer and more accurate vision correction.
  • Recent developments in laser eye surgery include both Intralase and wavefront laser eye surgery. Both these developments result in an improvement in both the safety and accuracy of the procedure.

For more information on laser eye surgery, you can read here.

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