Laser Eye Surgery enters its 21st year

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Twenty-one years ago a new surgery was underway; one that left people without their sight, blurred vision and unable to look at bright lights. However, nowadays, this surgery is one of the most popular surgeries performed each year and leaves people free to see things clearly again. Progressively, over the past twenty-one years, laser eye surgery has grown to be one of the most common surgeries, and all with little fuss. One could argue it has become that popular and safe that Dr Moshegov, a world-wide known surgeon will be having his own laser eye surgery filmed live in an attempt to convince more people that this surgery is the way forward.

Dr McDonald was one of the surgeons responsible for the pioneering of the laser eye surgery that we know today; and she still has the same monkey’s that she first tested some of the procedures on. Her monkeys appear to have suffered no side-effects from the surgery twenty years later which perhaps silences people’s doubts that we still don’t fully know the affects that laser eye surgery can have long-term. One thing is for certain; this surgery has so far offered a new lease of life to around thirty million people worldwide and continues to offer this to 100,000 people a year in the UK alone.

Whilst it isn’t clear just what damage laser eye surgery can do; people are certainly reaping its rewards for now. Many astronauts and pilots have benefited massively from this surgical progression, as they are now able to go to space where glasses cannot be worn or their pilot license is extended further than it ever could have been previously. When one looks back over the twenty-one years, the progression is huge: from the crude “burn and learn” motto adopted by Julian Stevens of Moorfields Eye Hospital, to one of the most successful and popular surgeries of all time.

Sunday 6th December 2009