Laser in Ophthalmology

  • V.-P. Gabel
Part of the Nato Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 34)


Laser photocoagulation in ophthalmology was the first and is in the meantime a worldwide accepted medical laser application. This is not surprising as light has been applied for the treatment of several eye diseases since the introduction of photocoagulation by Meyer Schwickerath (1949) and by Moron Salas (1950). For centuries man has known (Plato, 3rd century B.C.) that prolonged exposure of his eyes to the sun results in visual loss. It has been shown that these effects are caused by a burn on the central part of the retina. This burn heals into a scar which looks like many scars of the peripheral retina, uniting the retina with the underlying tissue. Meyer-Schwickerath (1949) demonstrated that these burns can be placed in any location on the fundus to obtain these scars to connect the retina and its substratum. In the beginning of photocoagulation these burns were produced by a light from a xenon arc source. One year after Maiman’s first demonstration of an operating laser this new light source was already used for photocoagulation by Campbell and coworker (1963). The application of the laser was successful because of its advantages, in particular its brightness and its monochromasy.


Diabetic Retinopathy Retinal Detachment Macular Edema Pigment Epithelium Laser Photocoagulation 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • V.-P. Gabel
    • 1
  1. 1.Augenklinik der UniversitätMünchen 2Germany

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