Scattered ultraviolet emissions during refractive surgery using a high-frequency, wavefront-optimized excimer laser platform

Kraig S. Bower, Jayson D. Edwards, Denise Sediq Ryan, Charles D. Coe, Robert J. Hope, David H. Sliney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To evaluate occupational ultraviolet (UV) exposure during photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) with the Allegretto Wave Eye-Q 400 Hz excimer laser. SETTING: Walter Reed Center for Refractive Surgery, Washington, DC, USA. METHODS: Intraoperative UV measurements were performed during PRK with epithelial removal using an Amoils brush, PRK with epithelial removal using 20% ethanol, or femtosecond LASIK. A LaserStar power/energy meter with a silicone detector (model PD-10) was used for the measurements. The maximum pulse energy 25.4 cm from the corneal surface was recorded for each surgical procedure. Measurements were evaluated using a worst-case scenario for exposure of operating room personnel, and the results were compared with the occupational exposure limit set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. RESULTS: Measurements were taken during 15 cases of each procedure. The mean maximum exposure was 129.38 nJ/pulse ± 79.48 (SD) during brush PRK, 69.72 ± 68.80 nJ/pulse during ethanol PRK, and 29.17 ± 13.82 nJ/pulse during LASIK. The mean maximum exposure per eye was 0.085 mJ/cm2, 0.046 mJ/cm2, and 0.01 mJ/cm2, respectively. The worst-case cumulative exposure during a heavy workday of 20 patients (40 eyes) was calculated at 3.92 mJ/cm2, 1.51 mJ/cm2, and 0.79 mJ/cm2 for brush PRK, ethanol PRK, and LASIK, respectively. Conclusion: Results indicate that the excimer laser platform used in the study may yield greater UV exposure than previous systems; however, the levels did not exceed occupational exposure limits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1344-1348
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of cataract and refractive surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 23 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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