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Phacoemulsification and Vitrectomy with the Erbium: or Neodymium:YAG-Laser

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There are an increasing number of applications for Erbium:YAG and Neodymium:YAG lasers in opthalmology. Laser phacoemulsification and Erbium-laser vitrectomy are of major interest. We report the underlying technology and more than 1-year-experience using the PHACOLASE (Carl Zeiss Meditec, Jena, Germany, 10–100 Hz frequency, 5–50 mJ single pulse energy) for phacoemulsification and pars plana vitrectomy and the Lyla-Dodick laser photolysis (A.R.C. Laser, Eckental-Forth, Germany, 1–20 Hz, up to 8 mJ single pulse energy). The Erbium:YAG laser and Neodymium:YAG laser enabled us to extract lenses with up to medium hard nuclei. Moreover, the Erbium laser enabled fast vitrectomy with little mechanical traction. In many of our initial surgical operations we had to convert to mechanical vitrectomy due to initial technical problems. No new complications occurred intra- or postoperatively. The handpiece worked well in removing vitreous but was not feasable for cutting membranes. Modified handpieces for this purpose are under development.
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Keywords: Cataract surgery; Erbium:YAG laser; Neodymium:YAG laser; Phacoemulsification; Vitrectomy; Vitreoretinal surgery

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Ophthalmology, Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Germany 2: Department of Ophthalmology, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University, Greifswald, Neubrandenburg, Germany

Publication date: 2002-12-01

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