Some people are surprised to learn that techniques for vision correction that involve altering the shape of the cornea were being developed as early as the 1950s. The history of LASIK eye surgery was first launched by Colombian ophthalmologist Jose Barraquer, who developed the first surgical method for vision correction. He developed a procedure for reshaping the cornea by cutting a flap into it. This discovery remains the foundation today for contemporary procedures like LASIK. While many people consider the LASIK procedure to be a new development, laser vision correction surgery has been around for quite some time. LASIK has continuously evolved over the years, and with new developments along the way, the procedure now uses some of the most advanced technology today.
Chu Vision Institute connects patients to the leading-edge technologies and procedures that best fit their world today and where they see themselves tomorrow. Call our office today to learn more about LASIK and request an appointment with one of our eye doctors.
LASIK Technology Throughout History
LASIK-type procedures originally started in the 1950s with the use of a microkeratome, or surgical blade, to cut the cornea to improve refractive errors. Almost thirty years later, in 1980, Steven Trokel, M.D. discovered that the excimer laser could be used to cut human tissue safely. In his published works he noted that excimer lasers could be utilized with a no-flap method of performing LASIK, which is still utilized in Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) today.
The procedure known as LASIK, or laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, was created when Gholam A. Peyman, M.D., received a U.S. patent on June 20, 1989. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) formally approved LASIK in 1999. The FDA approved the Femtosecond laser in 2001, making all-laser (no blade) LASIK possible.
LASIK surgery today is very different from LASIK in 1989. Dr. Marguerite B. McDonald carried out the first laser eye surgery over 30 years ago. Since then, LASIK technology and refractive surgery have developed exponentially and undergone a great deal of improvements.
From Bladed to Bladeless LASIK Technology
In the area of vision correction surgery, the 1980s and the early 1990s were thrilling decades. There had never been a vision correction method that is so efficient and has so few adverse effects. During this time, the excimer laser was used to correct eyesight during all traditional LASIK procedures, with the corneal flap being created by a microkeratome (surgical blade).
Ophthalmologists and the scientific community would not be satisfied with using a blade long-term for refractive surgeries. They were certain there had to be a better, more precise way to create a flap. In the search to find a better way, a femtosecond laser was introduced.
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The FDA granted approval for the femtosecond laser in 2001, and it promptly adopted the name IntraLASIK from the maker of the equipment known as IntraLase. The first all-laser innovation, the IntraLase method, which is still employed in select facilities, replaced blade LASIK technology, and improved outcomes while also raising the safety and predictability of LASIK eye surgeries. The use of the femtosecond laser not only brought improved visual perception but also reduced the occurrence of dry eye syndrome.
Another area of development in laser surgery that scientists felt was crucial was keeping the cornea’s most natural shape. The parent firm of WaveLight lasers, Alcon*, contributed to the development of lasers that enabled faster and more natural corneal reshaping, shortening recovery times and achieving better outcomes. WaveLight Optimized® LASIK technology produced better results, considerably decreased the risk of glare and halos and produced a more predictable outcome since it has the potential to reshape corneal tissue more naturally (not visible to the naked eye).
What is Wavefront LASIK surgery?
The most cutting-edge LASIK technique currently available uses Wavefront technology. Wavefront is a customized LASIK procedure that allows your eye doctor to correct vision specific to your needs.
The cornea alone has thousands of different measurements, making the eye similar to a fingerprint. Although two people may have the same prescription for glasses, no two people’s eyes are exactly the same. Myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness), and astigmatism are all conditions that are corrected with standard LASIK in an effort to reproduce your eyeglass prescription. The clearest lens you can see through is used to calculate your eyeglass prescription from your refraction measurement. This is due to the fact that there aren’t many specifications for a corrective lens. The treatment can then be repeated using conventional LASIK.
Contrarily, custom Wavefront LASIK offers a fully individualized, tailored correction for your eyes, erasing flaws beyond myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. Higher-order aberrations of the eye are these optical imperfections, and depending on the person, they may or may not be significant. Even after having their myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism corrected, people with significant higher-order aberrations may still experience symptoms like glares, halos, and maybe reduced night vision.
LASIK Wavefront allows eye surgeons to achieve a higher level of accuracy than normal LASIK. When compared to regular LASIK, Wavefront-guided custom LASIK can measure vision correction to 0.01 diopters, while the former can only do so to 0.25 diopters. As a result, Wavefront LASIK better optimizes the visual potential.
Chu Vision and the Most Advanced Technology for LASIK
Chu Vision was started with the mission to provide patients from all over the Twin Cities metro area with the highest level of advanced vision care. From the beginning, Chu Vision has always invested in the most advanced LASIK technology approved by the FDA. Our advanced laser eye surgery gives patients better vision and freedom from wearing glasses or contact lenses.
Chu Vision utilizes the Zeiss Visumax femtosecond laser to create the LASIK flaps and the Zeiss MEL 80 excimer laser with Wavefront technology to customize your vision. Chu Vision Institute also participates in clincial research trials to offer the most advanced laser treatments available to best serve our patients.
Since its introduction, LASIK technology has greatly benefited millions of people all over the world. Thanks to talented scientists and eye doctors, LASIK technology has improved over the years in terms of safety, speed, predictability, and results.
Visit Chu Vision for more information if you’re tired of simply hearing about how fantastic a custom LASIK procedure is and are eager to experience it for yourself. At our cutting-edge LASIK center, you will meet with your eye surgeon during your LASIK consultation to determine if you are a good candidate for LASIK. If you’re ready to say goodbye to glasses or contacts, call our office right away to find out more about our LASIK procedure or to schedule a consultation with a Chu Vision LASIK surgeon.