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P D Brazitikos, D J D'Amico, T W Bochow, M Hmelar, G R Marcellino, N T Stangos; Experimental ocular surgery with a high-repetition-rate erbium:YAG laser.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1998;39(9):1667-1675.
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PURPOSE: To evaluate the performance in ocular surgery and the ocular tissue interactions resulting from increasing the maximum repetition rate of a pulsed-mode erbium:YAG laser system from 30 to 200 pulses per second. METHODS: An erbium:YAG laser was used that emitted at 2.94 microm with an output graduated from 0.2 mJ to 25 mJ and a repetition rate from 2 Hz to 200 Hz and that was equipped with a flexible optical fiber attached to various interchangeable 20-gauge endoprobes to perform ocular surgery in enucleated pig eyes. The specific maneuvers were performed in close contact in nontransmitting aqueous media and included inner retinal ablation, retinotomy, lens capsulotomy, lens ablation, iridotomy, and iridectomy. Selected tissue specimens were examined by light microscopy. RESULTS: Increasing the repetition rate to the 200-Hz range significantly improved the smoothness, continuity, and speed of all surgical maneuvers. Compared with the 30-Hz rate, substantially lower energies per pulse were efficient with the 200-Hz rate. The "sticking effect" between the tip of the probe and the target tissue at low-repetition rates, which resulted in discontinuation of the surgical maneuver, particularly during lens surgery, was eliminated with the use of high-repetition rates. Use of high-repetition rates produced a zone of residual thermal damage less than 30 microm in all ocular tissues. The histologic findings of tissue interactions were comparable to those obtained in published studies in which the same wavelength and low hertz rates were used. CONCLUSIONS: The high-repetition-rate erbium:YAG laser technology described is advantageous, compared with low-repetition-rate erbium:YAG lasers, and is applicable in a variety of ocular surgical procedures. Innovations in endoprobe design and further study will determine its role in contemporary ocular surgery.
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