More About LASIK
In this first tulip-laden blog for March we covered some of the basics of LASIK, the world’s most popular option for permanent vision correction. But people have lots of questions about LASIK, plus there is a fair share of misinformation out there on the internet about laser vision correction.
So, let’s spend March’s second Central Valley blog getting into a few more questions.
Where did LASIK come from?
This surprises people but LASIK can trace its origins to South America. In the 1950s in Bogota, Columbia, Spanish ophthalmologist Jose Barraquer was the first to test reshaping the cornea to improve vision. He developed the microkeratome, the blade that makes the cut in the outer cornea in LASIK procedures (we now use a laser at Central Valley) before the laser then reshapes the inner cornea. Back in 1950, Barraquer used the blade to reshape the cornea.
In 1980 at the IBM Research Laboratory, it was discovered that an ultraviolet excimer laser could etch living tissue without thermal damage to the surrounding area. As the 80s progressed several patents were issued for surgical lasers, the last in 1989 was to specifically modify corneal curvature.
LASIK was used in Europe and elsewhere before it was approved by the FDA in the U.S. Trials began in the U.S. in 1989. LASIK was then first approved by the FDA for standard use in 1998.
It keeps getting better
Over the last 15 or so years, laser vision correction has really evolved. In the early days of LASIK, the procedure was limited for treating only nearsightedness. But today at the Central Valley we treat nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. There also formerly were age limits on the procedure, but those also are largely gone. Today, patients from 18 to 80 can have laser correction, sometimes even if they’ve had cataract surgery.
What is the success rate for LASIK?
These are amazing procedures that allow patients who have worn glasses their entire lives to see clearly without them. It can be life changing to not wake up and first have to reach for your glasses to read the alarm clock. LASIK is one of the most successful surgeries performed, and its success is documented with thousands of clinical studies measuring visual acuity and patient satisfaction.
The latest research reports that 99 percent of patients achieve better than 20/40 vision. More than 90 percent achieve 20/20 vision or better. LASIK has an incredibly high satisfaction rate of 96 percent patient satisfaction. This is the highest rate of any elective surgery. These statistics are found in the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, but they are available from difference sources.
LASIK procedures have been performed for over two decades now in the U.S. They have improved the vision of nearly 20 million people.
Are you interested in ditching your eyeglasses or contacts for good? Give us a call at Central Valley Eye Medical Group, (800) 244-9907, and let’s see if LASIK is right for you.
Posted in: LASIK