Tuesday, August 8, 2023

The invention of Lasik eye surgery by Gholam Peyman

In 1948, Father Szuniewicz, recognized as a trailblazer in the field of refractive surgery, voyaged to the United States with the intention of advancing his investigation into corneal reshaping. He embarked on this pursuit at Yale University in New Haven, CT.

Starting as early as the 1950s, medical researchers began delving into techniques to correct vision by manipulating the cornea's shape. However, it was ophthalmologist Jose Barraquer from Colombia who initiated the historical trajectory of LASIK by devising the initial surgical remedy for vision correction. He honed a method that involved fashioning a flap within the cornea to facilitate alterations in its shape.

Dr. Gholam Peyman initially undertook the study and evaluation of the potential utility of a CO2 laser to modify the structure of rabbit eye corneas. Nonetheless, he found this laser to be inadequate for the required procedure and lacking in its ability to prevent subsequent scarring.

Peyman's primary aim was to avoid surface ablation in order to sidestep potential corneal scarring and the accompanying discomfort resulting from the removal of the corneal epithelium, a step needed to expose the cornea's surface.

In 1980, Peyman published an article outlining the feasibility of performing eye surgery using ablative laser technology. However, this concept remained speculative at that time due to the unavailability of the necessary laser advancements.

During the 1980s, Rangaswamy Srinivasan, an IBM researcher stationed in Yorktown Heights, NY, delved into the interaction of laser technology with organic matter, particularly exploring the impacts of ultraviolet light. A significant breakthrough occurred in 1980 when Dr. Srinivasan confirmed that an excimer laser could extract living tissue without causing thermal harm to surrounding cells.

Towards the end of 1982, he stumbled upon an article from IBM Laboratories published in Laser Focus, which detailed their work involving excimer lasers and organic materials.

Consequently, in July 1985, he submitted a patent application describing a technique for altering corneal refractive errors through laser ablation beneath a corneal flap. This patent was eventually granted in June 1989 after two revisions. Peyman initiated a series of experimental studies in collaboration with the Physics Department of the University of Helsinki, Finland, to assess the effects of various excimer lasers.

In 1990, European eye specialists Ioannis Pallikaris and Lucio Burrato pioneered a method that laid the foundation for LASIK surgery. Termed the "flap and zap" technique, it encompassed the creation of a corneal flap, reshaping tissue using a laser, and subsequently sealing the flap to promote healing.

Maintaining awareness of the potential limitations of his innovation, Peyman dedicated substantial time and effort in the following years to enhancing them. In a bid to optimize the risk-to-benefit ratio of the LASIK procedure, he introduced and obtained patents for a comprehensive range of ablative and non-ablative inlays in 2004. These were designed to be placed beneath the surgically fashioned corneal flap.
The invention of Lasik eye surgery by Gholam Peyman

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