Eye Surgery, LASIK – How It’s Changed Through the Years

Eye Surgery, LASIK - How It's Changed Through the Years

If you’re considering eye surgery, LASIK is probably one of your top options. This is one of the most common laser vision correction procedures available. Since this is such a common laser eye surgery procedure, it’s very safe and doesn’t take that much time.

However, this type of laser eye surgery has been around for quite a while. So, there have been many changes to the procedure over the years.

In this article, we’re looking at what lasik surgery is and how the procedure has changed over its history.

So, if you’re interested in the history of laser eye surgery, you’ve come to the right place.

Read on to learn more.

What Is Eye Surgery LASIK?

LASIK, or laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis surgery, is an outpatient procedure performed to fix various vision problems. This laser vision correction surgery involves creating a corneal flap or a small incision on the cornea. This exposes the corneal tissue, allowing the surgeon to reshape the cornea with the use of a laser.

Eye Surgery, LASIK - How It's Changed Through the Years

Those that undergo LASIK surgery report that it’s a very painless procedure. On top of that, the entire laser eye treatment only takes a few minutes. So, you can rest assured that you’ll be in and out of the operating room pretty fast.

The biggest benefit of LASIK refractive surgery is that you can use it for various issues. An uneven or misshapen cornea causes some of the most common vision problems, like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.

When you go for LASIK surgery, you won’t have to wear contact lenses or glasses as much anymore. So, if you’re tired of having to wear glasses for your near vision or long-sightedness, you may want to ask your doctor if you’re a good candidate for a LASIK procedure.

A Comprehensive History of Laser Eye Surgery

Laser eye surgery procedures are very common for correcting various sight problems. However, like any medical procedure, it has a long history that involves a lot of changes. So, let’s get into the different phases of the history of laser eye surgery to give you a better idea of how it became what it is today.

The Beginning

Scientists and medical practitioners have been finding an effective approach to laser eye surgery as early as the 1950s. Back then, they were already familiar with the potential of laser eye surgery and using a sophisticated laser to reshape the cornea. However, the first time we saw the possibility of LASIK eye surgery was when John Barraquer invented the first innovation that led to laser eye surgery.

This was the ability to create a flap in the cornea. This process involves making a small incision on the eye, allowing doctors to access and reshape the cornea. This is still the basis of LASIK eye surgery today, although the exact technology used to remove this uneven tissue has changed significantly.

The Invention of the Excimer Laser

Rangaswamy Srinivasan invented the excimer laser in 1980. This was a huge development in the world of LASIK eye surgery as it finally allowed doctors to make changes to human tissue without damaging the surrounding areas. This process was impossible before excimer lasers, which was a major hindrance to bringing LASIK eye surgery to people that needed the procedure.

This laser allowed for a much more efficient and precise process. With this brand-new type of laser, doctors could now make a very precise incision on the cornea to create the flap. This made it much easier for surgeons to operate on the eyes.

Flap & Zap

Before laser refractive eye surgery, we had the flap and zap process. This process was invented in the 1990s in Germany and is considered the major precursor to LASIK surgery.

This laser treatment is very similar to LASIK, wherein doctors apply local anaesthetic eye drops to numb the eye before creating a flap and zapping the uneven tissue with a laser beam. That way, you reshape the cornea and correct blurry vision.

The process was used to help people see distant objects much better. This process was also used to correct various vision problems. But while it’s very similar to LASIK, the technology and methodology of LASIK treatment are much more sophisticated and refined.

What LASIK Surgery Looks Like Today

Nowadays, LASIK surgery is a very common vision correction procedure. The entire LASIK procedure takes less than an hour nowadays. This allows most patients to be in and out of the office on the same day.

It’s one of the most minimally invasive surgical procedures for eye health right now. So, if you have short-sightedness and other similar issues, you may want to consider speaking to your doctor about LASIK.

What’s Next for Lasik Surgery?

Like any surgery, the technology behind LASIK is constantly evolving. While we can never predict what will happen in the future, current developments have been very promising.

Here are some of the recent improvements we’ve seen in recent years.

The Femtosecond Laser

The femtosecond laser is the reason laser eye surgery is possible nowadays. While the excimer laser allows doctors to alter the shape of the cornea precisely, femtosecond lasers allow doctors to make a small incision on the cornea without using a blade. So, the entire process is much safer and more reliable.

Enhanced Accessibility

Laser eye surgery has become very popular over the years. While the procedure was really rare and unique in its early days, more and more patients are going to their doctors for laser eye surgery. As time passes, the technology for LASIK becomes much more accessible, which means more and more people will be able to undergo the procedure for their blurred vision.


LASIK eye surgery is a huge development in modern medicine. This procedure has eliminated the need for glasses or contact lenses for many people over the years. That said, the procedure has also seen some major changes and developments throughout its history. Now that you understand the entire history of the procedure, it may be time for you to visit your doctor and explore the option of LASIK surgery today.