Braren wrote a paper introducing the idea of using the laser to reshape or sculpt the cornea (the clear covering on the front of the eye) in order to correct refractive errors, such as myopia or hyperopia. The paper, published in a major ophthalmology journal in December 1983, launched a worldwide program of research to develop excimer laser-based refractive surgery. Years of experimentation and clinical trials followed. In 1995, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the first commercial excimer laser-based refractive surgery system, almost 14 years after the team’s initial experimentation.
Today LASIK (laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis) eye surgery is the most popular vision correction surgery performed worldwide, due to its rapid healing cycle and minimal pain.