Abstract

We detail the development and implementation of a global ablation model that incorporates a dynamically changing tissue absorption coefficient. Detailed spectroscopic measurements rule out plasma-shielding effects during the laser–tissue interaction and thereby support a photochemical mechanism. The model predicts ablation rate behavior that agrees well with a variety of experimental ablation rate data and that substantially deviates from a static Beer–Lambert model. The dynamic model predicts an enhancement in the tissue absorption coefficient of about 25%–50% as compared with the initial, static value. In addition, the model predicts an increase in the tissue ablation rate as corneal hydration increases, which may provide additional insight into variations in refractive surgery outcome.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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