The excimer laser was developed at IBM in 1976, and used to etch computer microchips.

Its extreme precision with negligible damage to adjacent tissue made it a very attractive tool for other applications and in 1983 Stephen L. Trokel, M.D. in cooperation with R. Srinivasa, a physicist, applied it to corneal tissue in a New York Laboratory.

The first sighted eye was treated with the excimer laser at LSU in January of 1987.

Between 1987 and 1995 numerous laser manufacturers including VISX and Summit Technology worked toward U.S. approval to use the Argon Fluoride excimer laser.

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