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microkeratome

A surgical device for creating a flap of corneal tissue used in Lasik and some transplant techniques. There are two classes of microkeratomes: mechanical and laser. Both are affixed to the eye by use of a vacuum ring, flatten the cornea with a clear applanation plate, then cut across the cornea under the plate.

The mechanical microkeratome uses a very sharp and thin metal blade. The femtosecond laser microkeratome uses amplified light energy to cause tiny bubbles to form at a predetermined depth. Thousands of these bubbles next to each other create an incision. See All-Laser Lasik.

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