Total internal reflection of laser light in eyes filled with silicone oil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: This is the first report of clinical settings in which total internal reflection of laser light in eyes filled with silicone oil was observed. The authors analyze this phenomenon and outline the potential hazards it may present to patient, surgeon, and operating room personnel. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The authors observed significant reflection of laser light off the silicone-water interface both intraoperatively and in the clinic. The critical angle according to Snell's law (i.e., the angle at which total internal reflection occurs at the interface between silicone oil and vitreous) was calculated. The critical angle was found to be 71.9691°(72°). RESULTS: An analysis of each of the clinical conditions where this phenomenon was observed is presented. Clinical and surgical implications are discussed. CONCLUSIONS: The hazard of total internal reflection of laser light in eyes filled with silicone oil should be recognized by ophthalmologists to avoid possible complications. Techniques for overcoming and circumventing the difficulties resulting from this phenomenon are proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-23
Number of pages7
JournalOphthalmic Surgery and Lasers
Volume30
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1999

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