Doctor Spotlight for Women’s History Month: Dr. Danièle Aron-Rosa
This year for women’s history month, we want to shine a light on the brilliant ophthalmologist, Dr. Danièle Aron-Rosa. She not only invented the YAG laser for treatment of posterior capsule opacity, she also performed the first YAG posterior capsulotomy in 1979. Dr. Aron-Rosa is truly a trailblazer in the medical field, and today we honor her by recognizing and sharing her amazing achievements.
Dr. Aron-Rosa was born in 1934 in France. Her initial academic interest was in studying physics, but she soon found her passion for medicine and received her medical degree in 1962 from the University of Paris. Her residency was at the Hopitaux de Paris Assistée Publique, and she had a fellowship at the AP HP University of Paris. It was during her residency rotation that she found herself interested in ophthalmology - where she would go on to change the field.
Dr. Aron-Rosa’s initial research was on tumors at the back of the orbit, which is the bony cavity that holds the eye. She noticed however that the early ruby lasers had very slow pulses which impeded their effectiveness. Her study of physics became necessary again, as she used both her physics and medical knowledge to create a faster laser pulse. She began with a focus on retinal and cataract surgery, but soon began to turn to refractive surgery as well.
The invention of this faster laser that made a noninvasive incision was no easy feat. Dr. Aron-Rosa had to ensure the laser beam wavelength would not affect the temperature or integrity of surrounding tissue. Also, in order to use the laser in more than one wavelength, Dr. Aron-Rosa multiplied the YAG frequency. Her innovation and technology are still in use and shaping laser surgery today.
Dr. Aron-Rosa did not stop at simply inventing breakthrough laser technology and she also was the first to ever use it. In January of 1979, Dr. Aron-Rosa made history by performing the first YAG posterior capsulotomy.
Dr. Aron-Rosa’s impact on the field of Ophthalmology has not gone unnoticed. She is the recipient of innumerable prestigious awards and recognition. She is the recipient of the Laureate Recognition Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology in 2004, the Chevalier de la Legion Honneur in 1983 by President Mitterand, the Award for the Invention of the YAG Laser, the Barraquer Lecture Award from the European Society of Refractive Surgery, the Academy’s Honor Award, the International Award for Excellence in Ophthalmology RHEMS, and the IIC Binkhorst Medal.
Dr. Aron-Rosa is not only a pioneer in the medical field, but also for women. She is the only woman to be recognized in the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery’s Ophthalmology Hall of Fame and to receive the Charles Kelman Innovators Award in Ophthalmology. She is one of only a few women to be named Officer of the French Legion of Honor.
Dr. Aron-Rosa may have started in France, but she is a world-renown doctor and teacher. She is a leader in her field, serving as Professor and Chair of Ophthalmology at Paris University, Chair of Ophthalmology at Hospital Robert Debrè and Foundation Rothschild, Paris, and a member of the International Committee for Quality Control of Ophthalmic Instruments and Devices. She also leads the ophthalmology field in education, writing hundreds of articles, papers, and books. Dr. Aron-Rosa even made several educational films about the picoseconds YAG Laser surgery.
Beyond medicine and physics, Dr. Aron-Rosa supports the arts. She paints and has had her work displayed in a few art exhibits and even served as faculty of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) International Film Festival.
Dr. Aron-Rosa is a brilliant ophthalmologist making strides for women in the medical field. Her innovation, expertise, and determination make her someone we look up to as a leader. The technology she developed for laser surgeries has had a positive impact on countless lives, people who have found relief, healing, and clear sight because of her innovations.
The technology today only continues to advance. The YAG laser has evolved and now does even more procedures to help your vision, including laser vitreolysis for severing and vaporizing floaters. To learn more about the latest in laser surgery and the treatment of eye floaters, visit https://www.eyefloaterinstitute.com/new-study-published/.