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May 16, 1990


JAMA. 1990;263(19):2668-2669. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440190124066

One of the most promising new methods for correcting myopia (nearsightedness), with the potential to correct hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism, is excimer laser photorefractive keratectomy, otherwise known as PRK. The excimer laser is a far-UV laser with a wavelength of 193 nm and has been used in the computer industry for many years to aid in the etching of chips. In 1983, the now classic article by Trokel et al1 reported the use of this industrial laser to remove tissue from the cornea of the eye in an exquisitely precise manner, without damage (thermal or otherwise) to surrounding structures. The article by Trokel and colleagues clearly delineated the potential of this laser as a powerful tool in refractive surgery.

More recently, some research groups have used the excimer laser to sculpt the anterior surface of the cornea,2-6 while others have used it to make fine linear excisions,7-9