Who Invented Lasik Eye Surgery?

who invented lasik eye surgery

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The world of ophthalmology underwent a revolutionary change with the introduction of LASIK eye surgery. This innovative procedure has offered millions the chance to ditch their glasses and contact lenses, embracing a life with improved vision. But, who invented lasik eye surgery? The journey to LASIK’s invention is a tale of collaboration, innovation, and relentless pursuit of vision correction excellence.

The Origins of LASIK

LASIK, or Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis, is a procedure that reshapes the cornea to correct vision issues such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. The roots of LASIK trace back to the late 20th century, stemming from earlier techniques and groundbreaking work by multiple ophthalmologists.

Key Contributors to LASIK Development

Name Contribution Year
Jose Barraquer Developed keratomileusis, the precursor to LASIK 1950s-60s
Svyatoslav Fyodorov Pioneered radial keratotomy 1970s
Gholam A. Peyman Granted a US patent for the LASIK procedure 1989
Ioannis Pallikaris Combined keratomileusis with excimer laser use Early 1990s
Lucio Buratto Applied the excimer laser in keratomileusis Early 1990s
Stephen Slade Performed the first LASIK surgery in North America 1991

The table highlights the collaborative effort and various milestones that paved the way for LASIK’s development. Each of these pioneers contributed uniquely, shaping the procedure into what it is today.

The Evolution of LASIK

The evolution of LASIK is a story of continuous improvement and technological advancement. Initially, the procedure involved manually creating a corneal flap with a microkeratome blade. However, the introduction of femtosecond lasers in the early 2000s allowed for greater precision and safety, leading to the development of bladeless LASIK.

Furthermore, the adoption of wavefront-guided and topography-guided LASIK provided customized treatments, enhancing the accuracy and outcomes for patients. Such advancements have solidified LASIK’s position as a preferred method for vision correction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is considered the father of LASIK surgery?

Jose Barraquer, often hailed as the “father of modern refractive surgery,” laid the groundwork for LASIK with his development of keratomileusis in the mid-20th century. His innovative concept of reshaping the cornea to correct vision laid the foundation for LASIK.

How did LASIK evolve from earlier procedures?

LASIK evolved from radial keratotomy and keratomileusis. Radial keratotomy involved making radial cuts in the cornea to alter its shape, while keratomileusis entailed freezing and reshaping the cornea. The advent of the excimer laser allowed for more precise and less invasive corneal reshaping, leading to the LASIK we know today.

What role did the excimer laser play in LASIK’s development?

The excimer laser was pivotal in transforming corneal surgery. Its ability to precisely ablate corneal tissue without damaging surrounding areas made it ideal for vision correction procedures. This technology was integral in moving from manual techniques to the highly accurate, laser-guided procedures that characterize modern LASIK.

How has LASIK technology improved over the years?

LASIK technology has seen significant advancements, particularly in laser technology and diagnostic tools. The shift from microkeratome blades to femtosecond lasers for flap creation improved safety and outcomes. Wavefront and topography-guided technologies provided personalized treatments, enhancing vision correction results and reducing side effects like glare and halos.


The invention of LASIK eye surgery is a testament to human ingenuity and the collaborative spirit of the medical community. From Jose Barraquer’s pioneering work to the modern enhancements in laser technology, each step in LASIK’s evolution has been geared towards providing safer, more effective vision correction.

At Liberty Laser Eye Center, located in the heart of the Washington DC Metro area, we are proud to be part of this ongoing journey of innovation in eye care. Our commitment to offering cutting-edge LASIK procedures is rooted in a deep understanding of its history and potential. For those exploring the possibility of life without glasses or contact lenses, we invite you to learn more about the LASIK eye surgery success rates, understand the differences between nearsightedness and farsightedness, or delve into the transformative benefits of LASIK eye surgery.

As we continue to embrace the latest advancements in LASIK technology, our goal remains clear: to provide you with the best possible care and help you achieve the vision you’ve always dreamed of. Contact us today to discover how LASIK can transform your life.

Liberty Laser Eye Center
8321 Old Courthouse Road
Vienna, VA 22182

(571) 234-5678

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