The Early Years
Among the earliest attempts at refractive surgery was conceived by Dr. Jose Barraquer, M.D. of Bogotá, Columbia. He first conceived of reshaping the cornea to reduce a patient’s reliance on glasses in his clinic in the late 1940’s Dr. Barraquer’s work on the concept of reshaping the cornea to correct vision led to the creation of a microkeratome, a blade used to dissect the cornea to remove tissue. A prototype of the mechanized microkeratome was first used in 1958 to remove a segment of corneal tissue, freeze it, reshape it and reattach it to the surface of the eye.
The Happy Accident
In 1974 a Russian Ophthalmologist, Svyatoslav Fyodorov had a young, nearsighted patient who had injured his eye after falling, breaking his glasses and getting some of the glass in his eye. To remove the glass, Dr Fyodorov performed an operation consisting of numerous radial incisions. As the eye healed, all were surprised to find that the boy’s vision was better in his injured eye than before his injury!Read more