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Proceedings Paper

Retinotomy using an erbium:YAG laser on human autopsy eyes
Author(s): Lansing G. Ellsworth; Theresa R. Kramer; Robert J. Noecker; Robert W. Snyder; J. Michael Yarborough
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Paper Abstract

Mid-IR lasers that operate near the absorption peak of water have a short penetration depth in ocular tissues. Ablation of tissue can be accomplished with minimal coagulative damage to underlying structures. We used an erbium:YAG laser equipped with a contact probe to create retinotomy sites in the human retina of eye bank eyes. An erbium:YAG laser (2.94 micrometers ) equipped with an infrared transmitting glass fiber and a sapphire tip (400 micrometers ) was used to directly ablate the surface of the retina. We administered both single and multiple pulses to the macula and peripheral retina using energy levels from 4 to 16 mJ per pulse. The retinas were then examined histopathologically to evaluate the extent of ablation and coagulative damage. Single pulses at low energy levels were noted to cause ablative damage to the nerve fiber layer and ganglion cell layer without a notable coagulative effect. The mean ablation depth at lower energy levels was less than the mean ablation depth at higher energy levels. Extensive laser application produced disruption of the retinal pigment epithelium, choroid and sclera. the erbium:YAG laser equipped with a contact probe is an effective means of creating retinotomies in human autopsy eyes. When used in the single pulse mode at lower energy levels, the erbium:YAG laser appears capable of removing superficial retinal layers without damaging deeper structures.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 June 1994
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 2126, Ophthalmic Technologies IV, (23 June 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.178577
Show Author Affiliations
Lansing G. Ellsworth, Health Sciences Ctr./Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Theresa R. Kramer, Health Sciences Ctr./Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Robert J. Noecker, Health Sciences Ctr./Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Robert W. Snyder, Health Sciences Ctr./Univ. of Arizona (United States)
J. Michael Yarborough, Coherent Lasers, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2126:
Ophthalmic Technologies IV
Jean-Marie A. Parel; Qiushi Ren, Editor(s)

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