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Opt Express. 2009 Aug 17;17(17):15292-307.

Experimental evaluation of optimized ablation patterns for laser refractive surgery.

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  • 1Instituto de Optica Daza de Valdés, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Serrano 121, 28006, Madrid, Spain.


A new experimental model based on plastic (Filofocon A) artificial eyes was used to study the ablation profiles and the outcomes of three state-of-the-art refractive surgery excimer lasers provided with narrow-beam flying spot and optimized algorithms (Ladarvision 4000, Alcon; Technolas 217 Z100, Bausch and Lomb; Allegretto wave Eye-Q, Wavelight). The 3-D ablation patterns produced by myopic laser corrections (-9, -6 and -3 D) on flat and spherical surfaces of Filofocon A were measured using high resolution optical profilometry. We found significant differences across lasers in the shape and depth of the ablation patterns. A comparison of the ablation patterns on flat and on spherical surfaces provided a measurement of the laser efficiency losses from the center to the periphery at each point of the spherical plastic corneas. This effect also varied across lasers, depending on their fluence (120-400 mJ/cm(2)). Estimates of the post-operative corneal shapes were obtained from the measurement on Filofocon A and plastic-corneal tissue correction factors. The predicted post-operative corneal ablation shape, ablated volume, asphericity and spherical aberration varied across lasers, as well as the relative contribution of ablation pattern designs and efficiency losses to the increased asphericity. Although the results show that the algorithms have been optimized to reduce the induction of spherical aberration, they would still benefit from the application of correction factors for efficiency effects derived from a systematic approach using experimental plastic models. These models have proved useful (1) to assess the outcomes of different lasers or ablation algorithms, (2) for precise calibration and testing of the lasers, and (3) to calculate experimental correction factors for efficiency effects.

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