March 2018


30th anniversary of laser vision correction

Dr. McDonald performing retinoscopy on a PRK postop monkey in 1987
Source: Marguerite McDonald, MD

This year marks the 30th anniversary of LVC. Marguerite McDonald, MD, recalled, “On Friday, March 25, 1988, at the Louisiana State University (LSU) Eye Center in New Orleans, I had the honor of performing the first laser vision correction procedure in the world—a PRK—on a living human subject, Alberta Cassady. My research colleagues were Stephen Trokel, MD, and Charles Munnerlyn, PhD.”
Dr. McDonald described the milestones leading up to that day. “Starting in 1984, we did thousands of plastic test blocks, cadaver animal and human eyes, living rabbit eyes, then living monkey eyes. Mrs. Cassady was a 62-year-old woman with cancer of the orbit, requiring exenteration. With a massively disfiguring procedure looming and a poor prognosis even with the surgery, she offered to let us do experimental surgery on her eye. We knew we would get her eye as part of the exenteration tissue block.”
After the procedure, “we watched her heal on a daily basis, right up until the exenteration 11 days later,” Dr. McDonald said. “The pathology report showed the healing pattern that we now know so well. Mrs. Cassady lost her battle with cancer, but her remarkable bravery and generosity in the face of such tragedy gave us vital information that allowed the FDA to accelerate the approval process.”
LSU named the laser facility in her honor.

30th anniversary of laser vision correction 30th anniversary of laser vision correction
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