Focussing femtosecond laser pulses into a transparent media, such as corneal tissue, leads to optical breakdown, generation of a micro-plasma and, thus, a cutting effect inside the tissue. To proof the potential of fs-lasers in refractive surgery, three-dimensional cutting within the corneal stroma was evaluated. With the use of ultrashort laser pulses within the LASIK procedure (laser in situ keratomileusis) possible complications in handling of a mechanical knife, the microkeratome, can be reduced by using the treatment laser as the keratome itself. To study woundhealing effects, animal studies were carried out in rabbit specimen. The surgical outcome was analyzed by means of histological sections, as well as light and scanning electron microscopy. Dependencies on the dispersion caused by focussing optics were evaluated and optimized. Thus, pulse energies well below 1 (mu) J were sufficient to perform the intrastromal cuts. The laser pulses with a duration of 180 fs and energies of 0.5-100 (mu) J were provided by a modelocked frequency doubled erbium fiber-laser with subsequent chirped pulse amplification in a titanium sapphire amplifier at up to 3 kHz.