This is an excerpt from the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital publication "Health Matters" that explores the history and origins of the Ruby Laser at Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute.
It Happened Here: The Ruby Laser
The first use of a medical laser was to destroy a retinal tumor.
Image: One of the earliest series of fundus photographs of a chinchilla rabbit illustrating coagulations produced by the ruby laser photocoagulator.
These days lasers are fairly common – they are used everywhere from scanners, DVD players, and even presentation pointers. But this wasn’t always the case. In 1961, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/ Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC)'s Dr. Charles J. Campbell was the first person to use a laser for medical purposes when he treated a patient’s retinal tumor. See how physicians now use lasers to treat cancer and conduct surgeries.