Laser vision correction goes back centuries, as humans have always looked for ways to correct vision. The first eyeglasses appeared in Italy in the 13th century.The first contacts lenses (made from hand-blown glass!) were made in 1888 in Switzerland. Laser vision correction would not come around for roughly another 100 years.
Back in the day, researchers experimented with rudimentary techniques for surgical vision correction that involved removing the corrective tissue, but before that, the cornea had to be frozen. This procedure is considered to be extremely obsolete nowadays.
LASIK had to go through many iterations toget where it is today and there were multiple studies performed to ensure that the procedure is safe.
The Early Years Of LASIK
Radial Keratotomy is a procedure which doctors began performing in 1978 in the U.S. This procedure involvedseveral corneal incisions which were made to shape and correct refractive errors. This procedure was done to help people who suffered from conditions such as nearsightedness and astigmatism so that they could become less dependent on their glasses (which people have always viewed as a hassle).
As time passed, surgeons stopped using sutures that would re-attach the cornea. In the 1980s, surgeons began to use a hinged technique which is still practiced today. This technique is used so that the cornea is not completely detached from the eye. The cornea is left as a flap, so there are no complications faced in attaching it back. This also decreases the healing time greatly because just half of the cornea has to be healed by. For more precise incisions, an automated microkeratome was developed and was instrumental in furthering the procedure.
The Excimer Laser and PRK
The excimer laser was developed in the 80s and was originally intended for use in making computer chips. The excimer laser was later found to be a precise tool for removing the tissue during refractive surgery procedures. This method, known as photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), was then found to be much more effective and safer compared to radial keratotomy. PRK was approved by the FDA in 1995. However, before the FDA approved PRK, two European eye doctors got to work on improving PRK and developed what later became known as LASIK.
Rather than working on the surface of the cornea, LASIK involves the creation of a flap on the cornea and then using a laser to reshape the cornea. LASIK became approved by the FDA in the United States in 1998.
LASIK In The 21st Century
2002 was a revolutionary year for laser vision correction. Wavefront technologies were now being programmed into excimer lasers which maps out a patient’s prescription, almost like a fingerprint of the eye. Also, in prior years, the corneal flap was created through an incision with a blade. In 2002, 100% bladeless laser eye surgery was introduced. This allows the flap to be created at the precise depth and diameter desired by the surgeon.
Today, Millennium Laser Eye Centers uses the most effective, safe, and up-to-date technologies in performing both PRK and LASIK to ensure the best results for our patients. Dr. Cory Lessner stresses how important our patient’s satisfaction with their results are, which is why Millennium provides excellent pre-operative and post-operative care. Dr. Lessner and the Millennium Laser Eye Centers staff strives to continue providing unmatched service and medical care to our patients, so contact us to schedule your consultation today! You won’t believe your eyes!