The Beginnings of LASIK
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LASIK wasn't always the customized, precise surgery it is today, although at it's beginnings, it was still perhaps the most revolutionary development in vision correction surgery of it's time.
The first FDA use of the excimer laser began in 1989, when it was used to change the surface of the cornea in the PRK procedure in the hands of the capable Summit Technology. The second excimer laser, the Visx laser, was approved by the FDA shortly thereafter. The actual concept of LASIK was introduced by a surgeon named Dr. Pallikaris. In 1992, the FDA specially selected 10 surgeons around the country to test the Visx laser for the LASIK procedure. Six years later, the Kremer Excimer Laser was the exclusive laser performing the LASIK procedure in the United States. In a cyclical manner, Summit Technology, the first company to use the excimer laser in the PRK procedure, was given permission to mass produve the excimer laser, and distribute it around the country to specially trained laser vision correction surgeons.
LASIK was an amalgamation of the original PRK procedure, and the creation of the corneal flap to expose the topographical imperfections of the eye. It was a revolutionary development, as it was far less painful and much more immediate than the conventional PRK procedure.
Today, LASIK is phenomenally successful procedure that has left millions of people seeing more clearly without the use of their glasses or contacts.