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J Refract Surg. 1998 Sep-Oct;14(5):541-8.

Lamellar refractive surgery with scanned intrastromal picosecond and femtosecond laser pulses in animal eyes.

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W.K. Kellogg Eye Center, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48105, USA.



To evaluate the use of scanned intrastromal picosecond and femtosecond laser pulses in lamellar refractive surgical procedures.


Intrastromal corneal photodisruption was performed in fresh porcine and primate cadaver eyes with a solid-state femtosecond laser. Laser pulses were focused 150 to 200 microns below the epithelial surface and scanned in a spiral pattern to create a plane. A flap was made by scanning an arc pattern from the plane of the spiral to the surface of the cornea. Tissue plane separation was graded using a standard scale, while internal surfaces were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy. Comparison was made to a picosecond laser system using the same delivery system device. Creation of a stromal lenticule for in situ keratomileusis was also demonstrated and compared with both laser systems.


For femtosecond pulses, tissue separation was achieved best with pulse energies from 4 to 8 microJ and spot separations from 10-15 microns. Picosecond pulses accomplished less complete separations with pulse energies of 25 microJ and spot separations from 10 to 20 microns. Surface quality corresponded to dissection results, with high-grade dissections resulting in a smooth surface appearance, versus a more irregular surface for low-grade dissections. Although high-grade dissections could be created with picosecond pulses (with optimal parameters) in ex vivo porcine eyes, only femtosecond parameters produced similar results in ex vivo primate eyes.


In contrast to previous attempts using picosecond lasers which require additional mechanical dissection, high precision lamellar refractive surgery may be practical with femtosecond laser pulses.

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