Laser Refractive Surgery Approaching 30 Year Anniversary

Many technologies from telecommunication, imaging, lithography, computer circuits to missile defense, have been revolutionized through the the invention of the laser. The first medical application of the laser was in the field of ophthalmology approximately 50 years ago. It was initially used for retinal photocoagulation and since then has been used for numerous diagnostic and therapeutic devices in the field.

In 1983, an ophthalmologist and a team of scientists at the IBM research laboratory applied the newly developed excimer laser onto corneal tissue. Unlike other lasers, this laser produced incredibly precise cuts without any heat nor any damage to the surrounding tissue. During the following 15 years, advances in biomedical research and technology evolved into the modern form of LASIK surgery. This technology has helped millions of people worldwide improve their vision and quality of life.