History of LASIK

Many people are surprised to learn the history of the LASIK vision correction procedure, since modern LASIK is generally considered one of the safest and most effective procedures available. Pioneered in the 1970s, laser vision correction technology has advanced exponentially and currently over one million vision correction procedures are performed using it every year.

The LASIK procedure was discovered in the former Soviet Union entirely unintentionally. According to the Laser Eye Center, a young boy was playing outdoors when he accidentally fell and cut his eye with glass. This normally devastating injury turned out to be a blessing in disguise, when the vision in his injured eye was improved by the glass cut. Doctors studied his case, and were eventually able to replicate the occurrence using a scalpel to make small, precise incisions in the cornea to correct the vision. That procedure has evolved, eventually becoming LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusisis) and is now performed with lasers that allow for much more precision.

The first LASIK surgeries took place in the former Soviet Union. In 1995, after many years of learning and perfecting the technique, a surgery very similar to LASIK was conducted as a trial in the United States. The only difference between that type of surgery and LASIK was the procedure itself. Four years later, after many exhaustive studies, LASIK was approved in the United States in 1999. Until 1995, PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) was solely used, but now that is used in combination with Keratomileusis.

Dr. Gholam Peyman, M.D. is credited with inventing the modern LASIK procedure. This technique consists of creating a flap in the surface of the cornea and reshaping the tissue underneath in one procedure. Before LASIK, the techniques used in the procedure were two separate procedures. Today’s LASIK technologies are far more advanced, allowing for LASIK surgeons to utilize increased precision and advanced testing to provide patients with an stable, effective vision correction alternative to glasses or contact lenses.

The procedure itself is typically short and most patients report feeling little or no discomfort. The cornea is cut to be a flap. The flap is then folded back and the laser is used and applied to the tissue that lies under the cornea. After the laser has re-constructed the desired amount of tissue into a new shape, the corneal flap is then folded back over, acting as a natural bandage for the eye.

Even with the most advanced LASIK technologies available, the most critical aspect to the LASIK journey is determining whether a patient is a good candidate. McFarland Eye Care’s physicians are dedicated to getting the best results possible for our patients. Additionally, we now offer a walk-in LASIK evaluation at our Bryant location that takes about 15 minutes and allows for all of your questions to be answered quickly and conveniently. 

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