Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis | Development of Lasik Eye Surgery

This form of eye surgery was developed over a long period of time. The process was started by José Ignacio Barraquer. He was born in Barcelona in 1916 and moved with his family including his father Ignacio to Colombia in 1953. His father also an ophthalmologist was noted for his work in cataract surgery. José developed the microkeratome which worked on the same principle as a carpenter's plane and he used it to cut the corneal cap. The cap was then frozen and placed in a cryolathe which he had developed to reshape caps. The procedure became know as keratomileusis. However, it failed to gain wide acceptance as an eye treatment due to lack of predictable results.

PRK which was developed in the 1980's took off and keratomileusis was left trailing in its wake. In the 1990's surgeons in Europe began to experiment with the microkeratome to create a flap of corneal tissue which they folded back. Once folded back the eye was then treated with the excimer laser. This procedure became known as LASIK which stands for laser assisted in situ keratomileusis. Statistics show that this form of laser eye surgery has overtaken PRK in popularity.

José Ignacio Barraquer was recognised by the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery as one of the ten most influential ophthalmologists of the last century. You can visit their site and watch a very short film about his life and work and hear him speak by clicking here. You can read about the modern Lasik eye surgery at Lasik Vision Surgery Procedure

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