Laser/Light Applications in Ophthalmology: Posterior Segment Applications

  • Victor M. Villegas
  • Timothy G. MurrayEmail author
  • Amy C. Schefler
  • Charles C. Wykoff


Among medical fields, ophthalmology has perhaps the richest history with regard to the widespread application of laser technologies. The first experimental use of laser in ophthalmology was that of the German ophthalmologist Gerd Meyer-Schwickerath, who began using the Beck arc in 1949 (Abramson. Acta Ophthalmol Suppl, 194:3–63, 1989; Neubauer and Ulbig. Ophthalmologica 221(2):95–102, 2007). By 1954, Meyer-Schwickerath had treated 41 patients with the xenon arc photocoagulator and by 1957, he reported that he was able to close 82 macular holes with this technology (Abramson. Acta Ophthalmol Suppl, 194:3–63, 1989). Working together with Littmann from the Carl Zeiss Company, he created a similar xenon arc photocoagulator which became available for widespread ophthalmic applications in the late 1960s and was used more frequently in the 1970s. Since then, lasers have been used with notable success for a wide variety of ophthalmic conditions including refractive error, glaucoma, lens-related conditions such as posterior capsular opacification, and retinal conditions including diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.


Ophthalmology Laser therapy Refractive error Glaucoma Posterior capsular opacification Diabetic retinopathy Age-related macular degeneration Uveal melanoma Retinoblastoma 



No conflict of interest or financial interest exists for any author.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victor M. Villegas
    • 1
  • Timothy G. Murray
    • 2
    Email author
  • Amy C. Schefler
    • 3
  • Charles C. Wykoff
    • 4
  1. 1.Bascom Palmer Eye InstituteMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Murray Ocular Oncology and Retina, Medical Arts Surgery Center Baptist, Department of Ophthalmology/Ocular Oncology, Retina Vitreous Diseases/Pediatric OphthalmologyNicklaus Children’s HospitalMiamiUSA
  3. 3.Department of OphthalmologyBascom Palmer Eye InstituteMiamiUSA
  4. 4.Department of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miller School of MedicineUniversity of MiamiMiamiUSA

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