Her vision: Better, clearer sight
May 17, 2013 -- Updated 1631 GMT (0031 HKT)
- Marguerite McDonald performed the world's first laser vision correction surgery
- She also conducted the first custom laser surgeries in the United States
- Several pharmaceutical and medical device companies also use McDonald as a consultant
(CNN) -- Dr. Marguerite McDonald has a clear vision for helping people see better.
Throughout her career, McDonald, an ophthalmologist at Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island (New York), has performed several pioneering eye surgeries.
In 1987, she performed the world's first excimer laser treatment, a procedure that eliminates or reduces the need for contact lenses. She used this technique in 1993 -- for the first time anywhere -- to treat farsightedness. An excimer laser is a type of laser used in eye surgeries.
McDonald was also the third physician in the world to perform a procedure called conductive keratoplasty -- a noninvasive surgery for farsightedness that involves using radio-frequency energy to heat small spots around the cornea. She served as the medical monitor of clinical trials of the procedure in the United States, which led to Food and Drug Administration approval.
In addition, McDonald conducted the first wavefront-based laser surgeries in the United States. Wavefront technology allows doctors to customize surgeries for individual patients.
You don't know them, but these innovators may have changed your life
In September 2003, she was the first in North America to perform Epi-LASIK -- a relatively new procedure that may avoid some of the risks associated with LASIK -- in September 2003.
"Along with being noted for performing the first laser vision correction procedure... (McDonald) takes an active role in advancing women's careers through mentoring," Jan Beiting, president of Ophthalmic Women Leaders, said in a statement. "She is a trailblazer in every way."
Ophthalmic Women Leaders announced in 2012 that she had won the organization's Visionary Woman Award.
McDonald served as the director of the Southern Vision Institute in New Orleans from 1993 to 2005.
Today, she is a clinical professor of ophthalmology at NYU School of Medicine, and an adjunct clinical professor of ophthalmology at Tulane University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans.
Several pharmaceutical and medical device companies also use McDonald as a consultant.
Mom's death inspires doctor's life's work
CNN's Edythe McNamee contributed to this report.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
June 3, 2013 -- Updated 1337 GMT (2137 HKT)
Dr. Irwin Goldstein isn't squeamish about describing operations on private parts. He remembers that he performed his first penile implant in 1976.
May 29, 2013 -- Updated 1336 GMT (2136 HKT)
In the human body, microbes outnumber human cells 10 to 1. Sounds icky, but bacteria may have more potential than we currently know.
May 29, 2013 -- Updated 1109 GMT (1909 HKT)
One company is giving it a try. For every condom purchased, they're donating a condom to a developing nation.
May 25, 2013 -- Updated 1132 GMT (1932 HKT)
Before he was a neurosurgeon, Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa was an illegal immigrant and migrant worker.
May 23, 2013 -- Updated 1858 GMT (0258 HKT)
It's practically unheard of in the West, but can be a terrible occurrence in a culture where a woman's status is decided by her ability to bear children.
May 23, 2013 -- Updated 2107 GMT (0507 HKT)
Kaiba Gionfriddo now breathes on his own, thanks to doctors trying the medical equivalent of a "Hail Mary" pass.
May 22, 2013 -- Updated 1104 GMT (1904 HKT)
Before the term vaccination was coined, millions died each year from infectious diseases. Then these nine scientists became superheroes.
May 19, 2013 -- Updated 0039 GMT (0839 HKT)
One conversation with Elizabeth Loftus may shake your confidence in the reliability of your memories.
May 12, 2013 -- Updated 1201 GMT (2001 HKT)
"How much did you weigh when you were born?" Dr. Alfred Brann asks the first time we talk. It seems like a normal question coming from him.
CNN's "Life's Work" features innovators and pioneers in the world of medicine. Learn more about women who have made significant contributions.