LASIK has quickly become one of the most popular procedures in the United States. However, many people don’t know how this breakthrough procedure was discovered. So how did LASIK go from the experiential stages to the refined procedure millions of people have benefited from? Like other revolutionary medical technology, it took years to perfect.

The Beginnings of LASIK

Laser eye surgery has a rich history full of technology, research, and scientists. While LASIK was not formally FDA-approved until 1999, Gholam A. Peyman, MD, was granted a patent for the method of altering the corneal curvature of the eye with a surgical procedure on June 20th, 1989. Dr. Peyman and his patents were followed and preceded by other pioneers in laser eye surgery:

Jose Barraquer

Before Dr. Peyman, there was professor Jose Barraquer. His early groundbreaking work in refractive surgery over 50 years ago led the way for the vision correction procedures we know and love. He’s best known for developing Keratomileusis, which means “sculpting” of the cornea.

John Marshall

Professor John Marshall invented and patented the idea of using the revolutionary excimer laser to reshape the cornea. The excimer laser is a cool laser, which means a beam of ultraviolet light is emitted.

Modern LASIK

Over the years, a variety of different procedures have been invented. In 2002, wavefront LASIK gained FDA approval. Using Wavefront technology, we are able to detect the higher order abnormalities and relay this information to the excimer laser. The laser than treats these abnormalities, which allows us to customize the laser treatment. Bladeless laser eye surgery was also invented in 2002. This type of LASIK dramatically reduces the risk of complication while giving the option to candidates who were previously told they were not a candidate for LASIK.


If you’re considering LASIK, we invite you to schedule a consultation and find out more about the life changing procedure. Contact our Utah eye surgeons today at 801-590-0864. We are dedicated to providing the ultimate experience in laser vision correction.