The Visual Revolution of LASIK

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Key Takeaways

At San Antonio Eye Specialists, we witness firsthand the life-changing impact that LASIK surgery has on patients. As a leading refractive practice of this transformative procedure, we think it's fascinating to delve into the history of LASIK and understand its origins. So, who exactly invented LASIK, and where was it born? Let's dive into the journey of this innovative vision correction technology.

Corneal Reshaping Corrects Refractive Errors 

LASIK — an acronym for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis — is a type of refractive eye surgery that reshapes the cornea to correct vision issues like myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. The idea for this groundbreaking technique was discovered by accident.

In the 1950s, a Spanish ophthalmologist named José Ignacio Barraquer Moner was working in his clinic in Bogota, Colombia, when he noticed that a boy's vision improved after a piece of his cornea was accidentally sliced off in a bicycle accident. Barraquer theorized that manually reshaping the cornea could correct refractive errors, leading to the development of keratomileusis, the predecessor to LASIK.

Eye Laser Technology

Fast forward to the 1970s, a time of significant technological advancements, particularly in the field of lasers. Rangaswamy Srinivasan, a researcher at IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center, discovered that an ultraviolet excimer laser could make precise incisions in human tissue without causing heat damage to the surrounding area.

This breakthrough paved the way for the use of lasers in eye surgery. Srinivasan's discovery was quickly picked up by ophthalmologists around the world, including Stephen Trokel, who coined the term "Excimer Laser Photorefractive Keratectomy" or PRK, marking a significant step towards the development of LASIK.

The Birth of LASIK

The 1980s saw further advancements with the introduction of a microkeratome (a precision surgical bladed instrument) used to create a thin corneal flap. Greek ophthalmologist Ioannis Pallikaris combined the use of a microkeratome with the excimer laser to perform the first LASIK procedure in 1989.

LASIK became an attractive option for patients, in search of visual freedom from spectacles and contact lenses. In comparison to PRK, there was less pain, and recovery time was faster.   

Advancements and FDA Approval

In the following years, LASIK continued to evolve, with further improvements enhancing its accuracy, predictability, and safety. By the late 1990s, several manufacturers of lasers and microkeratomes had gained FDA approval for their devices to be used in LASIK procedures.

Since its invention, LASIK has revolutionized the field of ophthalmology, providing a safe and effective alternative to glasses and contact lenses for millions of people worldwide.

Dr. Nader Iskander Starts His Journey Performing LASIK Eye Surgery

Dr. Nader Iskander is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist and fellowship-trained refractive surgeon who completed his fellowship training in LASIK with the world-renowned Dr. Howward Gimbel in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 2000.  He also had LASIK performed by Dr. Howard Gimbel and co-authored a book about LASIK.  

Dr. Iskander has been instrumental in helping tens of thousands of patients achieve visual clarity and freedom with LASIK, PRK, and other refractive procedures.  He is passionate about bringing proven technology and surgical techniques to San Antonio and neighboring areas helping patients see and enjoy living without the dependence on glasses and contact lenses.  Dr. Iskander is well versed in microkeratome technology but his preference and longtime use of all-laser LASIK bladeless technology dates back to 2006.  In researching where to have LASIK performed, some key factors to consider are 1. Surgeon’s experience and fellowship training, 2. LASIK technology, and 3. The custom treatment plan is as if no two eyes are identical.  

For LASIK Surgery in San Antonio, Choose San Antonio Eye Specialists

The journey from a bicycle accident in Bogota to high-tech lasers and the invention of LASIK is a testament to the power of human ingenuity and scientific progress. Today, LASIK remains one of the most popular and effective methods of vision correction, worldwide with over 3 million satisfied recipients annually.  At San Antonio Eye Specialists, we're proud to continue the tradition of innovation and implementing the highest standards resulting in exceptional surgical results which started from those pioneering ophthalmologists.

Whether you are considering LASIK in San Antonio or simply curious about its history, we hope this look back at the origins of LASIK has been enlightening. If you have considered LASIK or feel tired of the ongoing frustrations associated with glasses or contact lenses and have wondered about your candidacy for LASIK, search no further than San Antonio Eye Specialists.  Our fellowship-trained refractive surgeons personally meet you to answer all your questions and discuss your options. For your eyes…don’t compromise!

Contact our team for a complimentary LASIK Consultation.

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