Recent developments in lasers have provided us the possibility of laser ocular surgery. The xenon, argon, neodium: YAG and dye lasers have been successfully used in outpatient clinicas. The excimer laser has been attracting researchers’ interest in the new application of laser to cornea and lens. The erbium: YAG laser emits a 2.94-μm beam that can ablate the transparent ocular tissues such as lenses and corneas. The author has applied this laser to the cornea, lens, vitreous and other ocular tissues. The erbium: YAG laser beam was directed through a 1.5-meter-long, 200-meter-diameter fiberoptic guide. The radiant energy measured about 50 mJ at the end of the probe. The laser was emitted as a 400-μs pulse. Freshly enucleated rabbit eyes were used in this study. Laser burns were applied to the tissue surface at various energy settings. At minimal power, the tissues were coagulated by the erbium: YAG laser application. At a power of more than 636-954 mJ/mm2, tissue began to evaporate; the tissue loss was observed under a surgical light microscope. Corneal photoablation, lens ablation, iridotomy, trabeculotomy, cutting of the vitreous and retinal ablation were easily performed. Like the excimer laser, the erbium: YAG laser is a potential tool for ocular surgery.
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