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When Was LASIK Eye Surgery Invented?

Category: LASIK

Laser Eye Surgery, like LASIK, is one of the most popular types of vision correction surgery available today. But when was LASIK invented? Keep reading to find out!


LASIK Eye surgery is a corrective procedure that has been performed for over two decades and can allow people to experience improved vision without the need for contact lenses. This popular surgery is performed to correct vision problems in the eye that create blurry vision, such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism by reshaping and remolding the front surface of the eye, allowing light rays to hit the retina clearly. Let’s take a look at the history of LASIK Eye Surgery and how it has evolved over time.


History of LASIK Eye Surgery

Spanish ophthalmologist, Jose I. Barraquer Moner conceived and developed the first sculpting method to help correct refractive errors in 1948. Over the years, the procedure continued to develop and was further refined by replacing the disc without sutures and later by stopping the laser instrument before the end of the pass to create a hinged “flap”, as first demonstrated in 1989. The history of the excimer laser actually dates back to 1900 and the quantum theory, eventually leading to the discovery that ultraviolet excimer laser pulses could laser tissue without thermal damage. An excimer laser was first used to sculpt from the stromal bed under a hinged flap created manually using a trephine and scalpel in 1988. The procedure has evolved significantly since it was first invented in the late 1980s.


The incorporation of a microkeratome, a precision surgical instrument with an oscillating component designed for creating the corneal flap in LASIK or ALK surgery in 1990 finally led to laser in situ keratomileusis or LASIK, as we know it today. This allowed for more precision and fewer side effects. Newer lasers also allowed for the correction of vision errors in one surgery. By the late 1990s, LASIK Eye Surgery had become a very popular procedure with a high success rate. 


Today, LASIK surgery is performed with even more advanced lasers that allow for even greater precision. Eye surgery, like LASIK, can now be customized to each individual patient based on their specific vision needs. The side effects of LASIK are also rare, making it a safe and effective option for most people who want to improve their vision.


the word "timeline" being highlighted in pink

Timeline of LASIK Surgery


Spanish ophthalmologist Jose Barraquer Moner conceived and developed the first sculpting method to correct refractive error.



Russian ophthalmologist Svyatoslov Fyodorov invented a technique called radial keratotomy. Radial Keratotomy (RK) is a type of refractive surgery meant to correct myopia or nearsightedness.



Dr. Stephen Slade became the first surgeon in the United States to perform LASIK. (Dr. Gregory Parkhurst completed his fellowship with Dr. Slade in Houston.)



FDA approved the first laser for LASIK surgery. 



The Femtosecond laser received FDA approval to allow for an all-laser (no blade) LASIK procedure


Schedule a consultation to talk to one of our eye doctors about LASIK and how you may be able to ditch your contacts and glasses. You can either contact our team at (210) 942-7234 or by sending us your contact information here!

Be sure to talk to one of our doctors about not only the benefits of LASIK, but also any risks of LASIK that may pertain to your individual needs and circumstances.

Parkhurst NuVision LASIK Eye Surgery