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June 1998

Erbium-YAG Laser Ablation: The Myth of 1-µm Penetration

Arch Ophthalmol. 1998;116(6):830-831. doi:

The erbium (Er)-YAG laser is a promising laser source for highly precise tissue removal in anterior segment, adnexal, and vitreoretinal surgical applications. In the July 1997 ARCHIVES, Azzolini et al1 characterize the midinfrared transmission properties of vitreous and vitreous substitutes including balanced salt-type solutions, silicone oils, and perfluorocarbon liquid. The authors cite the often quoted "literature" value of 1 µm for the penetration depth of Er-YAG laser 2.94-µm radiation through aqueous solutions, and note that ". . . a strongly absorbing medium permits only contact procedures, or at most, a working distance of the fiber tip from the tissue that is much shorter than the penetration depth of the medium itself."1(p901)

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