Dr. Duplessie helped organize the first US LASIK course in 1996, featuring the world’s top 25 corneal refractive surgeons from 11 countries in a series of 63 lectures and talks over two days.
Showing a boldness that can be career defining or career ruining, Dr. Duplessie, still in training, realized that the laser surgery classification system honoring a personal surgical hero, Prof. Jose Ignacio Barraquer [‘the father of corneal refractive surgery’], and agreed to by all of the surgeons speaking at the conference, was unworkable and needed to be simplified.
Given the challenge of marketing and promoting the surgically descriptive but tongue twistingly unpronounceable Barraquer classification system, Dr. Duplessie simplified it to LASIK and PRK.
During the “First United States LASIK Course”, none of speakers used it in the titles any of the 63 lectures and talks. After the course, there was only LASIK and PRK.
Approximately 700,000 LASIK procedures are now performed annually, making it one of the most common surgeries in the United States.
And that is how ” The Father of Corneal Refractive Surgery “, Dr. Barraquer came to write the introductory chapter in Dr. Duplessie’s book ‘Advances in Refractive Surgery and Corneal Surgery’ published just months after the course.
Over 40,000,000 LASIK surgeries have been performed.