Patricia Bath Invented Laser Cataract Surgery
Patricia Bath was ophthalmologist, humanitarian and academic. She was also the inventor of laser cataract surgery. Bath started working on her invention in 1981 and completed her work in 1986 after researching lasers in Berlin. In 1988, she patented her invention and became the first African American woman to receive a patent for a medical purpose. She named her device Laserphaco Probe, which quickly and nearly painlessly dissolves the cataract with a laser. It cleans and irrigates the eye as well as removes the affected lens and permits easy insertion of an artificial lens that will not deteriorate over time. This invention provides an almost-permanent solution to cataracts and it brought back sight to people who hadn’t been able to see for decades because of cataracts.