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The general term for changing a patient's
he general term for changing a patient's optical measurements by means of an operation is Refractive Surgery. The introduction of lasers in refractive surgeries stemmed from Rangaswamy Srinivasan's work. In 1980, Srinivasan, working at IBM Research Lab, discovered that an ultraviolet excimer laser could etch living tissue in a precise manner with no thermal damage to the surrounding area. He named the phenomenon Ablative Photodecomposition (APD).[4] The use of the excimer laser to ablate corneal tissue for the correction of optical errors, such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism, was first suggested by Stephen Trokel, MD, of the Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY. Dr. Trokel, along with Dr. Charles Munnerlyn and Terry Clapham, founded VISX, Incorporated. The first human eye was treated using a VISX laser system by Dr. Marguerite B. MacDonald, MD in 1989.


[5] The first patent for LASIK was granted by the U.S. Patent Office to Dr. Gholam A. Peyman on June 20, 1989, U.S. Patent #4,840,175, "method for modifying corneal curvature," encompassing the surgical procedure in which a flap is cut in the cornea and pulled back to expose the corneal bed. The exposed surface is then ablated to the desired shape with an excimer laser, after which the flap is replaced.[6] The LASIK technique was successfully applied in other countries before it arrived to the United States. The first U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) trial of the excimer laser was started in 1989. The first use of the laser was to change the surface shape of the cornea, known as PRK. Summit Technology, under the direction of its founder and CEO, Dr


. David Muller, was the first company to receive FDA approval for an excimer laser to perform PRK in the US.[7] The LASIK concept was first introduced by Dr. Pallikaris in 1992 to the group of ten surgeons who were selected by the FDA to test the Visx laser at 10 centers in the U.S. In 1998, the Kremer Excimer Laser serial #KEA 940202 received FDA approval for its singular use to perform LASIK in the US.[8] Subsequently, Summit Technology was the first company in the US to receive FDA approval to mass manufacture and distribute excimer lasers to perform LASIK and Visx and several other manufactures then followed.[8]

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