Kevin Niksarli

Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey

In October 1995, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the excimer laser for the use of correcting nearsightedness; less than two years later, the FDA approved the excimer laser for correcting astigmatism as well. Since then, LASIK has grown to become a byword for all laser vision correction procedures and advances in technology have continued to strengthen the safety and efficacy of the LASIK technique. Despite these rapid and relatively recent developments, however, the origins of LASIK date back to more than half a century ago.

In the early 1950s, Ophthalmologist Jose Barraquer first developed keratomileusis, the procedure that forms the basis for modern refractory surgery. Working from his clinic in Bogota, Colombia, Barraquer introduced the first microkeratome as well as the technique of cutting flaps to modify the shape of the cornea. This early form of keratomileusis relied on altering the cornea with the assistance of a cryolathe, an instrument that froze and then reshaped thin slices of corneal tissue. The excimer laser appeared in the 1970s after the development of a carbon dioxide laser led to the invention of an ultraviolet laser with cool beams, and researchers introduced their discovery at the Denver Optical Society of America in 1973.

Over the next two decades, the excimer laser gained increasing popularity as one of the primary instruments for refractory surgery. The United States Patent Office granted the first patent for LASIK in 1989, the year the FDA began its trial of the excimer laser, and the agency approved the excimer laser system for use in photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) in March 1995. Summit Technology became the first company to achieve FDA approval for its LASIK-related excimer laser just a few months later, and more than 12 million people in the United States have undergone LASIK surgery since then.

About the Author: Dr. Kevin Niksarli received his Doctor of Medicine from Weill Cornell Medical College and completed his ophthalmological training at Harvard University, Lenox Hill Hospital, and Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Institute. He currently serves as Medical Director of Manhattan Lasik Center, a leading laser surgery center with locations in New York and New Jersey.