How Has LASIK Changed Over Time?

LASIK eye surgery makes some people nervous. It’s a surgery, so that’s understandable. But as technology has progressed, LASIK has become one of the easiest and safest surgeries you’ll ever experience. And the results of the surgery will make you wonder why you ever put it off in the first place.

LASIK eye surgery in Utah uses the latest technology, with the iLasik procedure - the VISX Star S4 with iris registration and the Intralase blade-free laser. The iLasik procedure is the best around, and if safety is a concern for you, it’s extreme precision will be a real comfort to you.

LASIK eye surgery is low-risk and high-worth. The surgery is quick and precise, and you won’t even need stitches because the surface of the cornea acts as a natural bandage. Your vision will improve within a couple of days, and though you do have to take a bit of time to heal completely, you should be back to your normal activities in no time.

But for LASIK surgery to reach this level of precision and comfort, a lot of research and technological advances had to happen. Take a look to find how LASIK surgery has progressed and why it’s a great option to improve your vision now.

Way Back When

To explain how LASIK has changed over time, we have to back up to the 40s to before the lasers were actually involved. 

In 1948, Father Waclaw Szuniewicz experimented with corneal surgery, or surgery on the front tissue of the eyeball. He was the first person to do so and figured out some ways to change the shape of the cornea. His research set the groundwork for upcoming attempts to surgically correct the cornea.

But more discoveries of how to best correct the cornea didn’t come until almost 20 years later - the 1960s. 

That’s when Professor Jos-Ignacio Barraquer introduced the idea of shaving off tiny pieces from the cornea to improve the vision. His method differs from LASIK because it involves removing part of the cornea, fixing that part of the cornea, and placing it back in the eye. Luckily, we no longer have to remove part of the cornea to reshape it. However, the discovery that he could shave off little pieces of the cornea to correct its shape carried over to LASIK as we know it today.

These two men never used lasers to correct eyesight, but their discoveries regarding surgery on the cornea and how to reshape it began the road to us performing LASIK eye surgery in Utah today.

Laser Beams

Now the lasers come in. The 1970s brought the excimer laser, discovered by researchers at IBM. The excimer (excited dimmer) laser comes from two gases interacting to create pulses of ultraviolet light, making the laser quite precise even when making tiny adjustments.

It wasn’t until the 80s that the excimer laser joined up with corneal surgery. Dr. Steven Trokel was the first to use it in such a surgery in 1987. Though the tech has improved since then, the excimer laser is still used today in LASIK eye surgeries in Utah. 

Only four years after Dr. Trokel first used the excimer laser in surgery, Dr. Stephen Slade performed the first official LASIK surgery, which involved cutting and lifting a flap at the front of the cornea and using the excimer laser to modify the cornea’s shape. After reshaping the cornea with the laser, he placed the flap back down on the eye. The cornea heals quickly, so no stitches were necessary.

In less than 100 years, corneal surgery has gone from an experimental stage with blades to a highly-technical all-laser surgery. Since then, LASIK research has emphasized increased precision during surgery so the patients can have the best results possible. 

The Latest Tech 

The research to improve precision has led to us using iLasik for LASIK eye surgery in Utah. iLasik is an exciting development to LASIK surgeries because it makes allowances for patient movement during surgery and removes the need for a blade during the surgery.

You see, back when Dr. Slade first performed LASIK surgery, he had to use a blade to cut the flap on the cornea. iLasik has modified this with an Intralase laser, a laser that makes the cut rather than a blade. The laser is far more precise than a blade, making iLasik safer than older LASIK surgeries.

The iris registration ability also helps increase safety in LASIK eye surgery. Iris registration technology finds unique features on your iris and tracks those spots through the surgery. With iris registration, the computer can watch for tiny movements your eyes might make during surgery and adjust the laser to follow those movements. 

Recent technology also allows us to customize LASIK surgery to your eyes. No person is exactly like another, and your eyes are unique to you. With customization, extra measurements can be taken to find high order aberrations in your eyes. It helps us treat more vision problems than we ever could before. However, this kind of customization isn’t necessary for everyone, so it’s only used for people with high order aberrations.

These advances in technology have significantly improved the safety and effectiveness of LASIK surgery today. In fact, it’s never been safer. While anxiety about surgery is understandable, the abilities of today’s technology leave almost no reason to be nervous about LASIK surgery. 

Is LASIK Eye Surgery for You?

For most people, LASIK is a good fit. There are certain disqualifiers that prevent some people from having LASIK surgery, but if you are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism, the chances of LASIK correcting your vision are high. 

At Davis Vision Center, Dr. Davis carefully examines each patient’s eyes to determine whether your eyes qualify for LASIK and what type of LASIK is best for you. Having performed over 40,000 LASIK eye surgeries in Utah, Dr. Davis will know exactly how to help you and has the experience to do so. 

If you’re thinking about LASIK, call us up to see what we can offer you. Chances are, you’ll find your eyesight better in no time.