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Simulation technology allows users to safely practice phacoemulsification cataract surgery
Date:5/29/2012

BOSTON (May 30, 2012) Phacoemulsification cataract surgery is one of the most frequently performed eye surgeries in the United States, with 1.5 million procedures performed each year. It is also one of the most complex procedures to learn. A new, highly innovative, computer-based simulation tool, the Mass. Eye and Ear Cataract Master, bridges the learning gap that residents and ophthalmologists new to phaco must navigate prior to performing actual surgery.

Ophthalmology residents typically train in wet labs and on phacoemulsification simulators that supplement motor skills training before moving on to live patients. This is a challenging leap for surgeons-in-training, even with the most careful oversight by attending physicians. The Cataract Master offers a unique approach for making the transition more successful.

Nearly a decade in the making, the Cataract Master was co-developed by Bonnie An Henderson, MD, F.A.C.S., Harvard Medical School Ophthalmology Residency Training Program Director, John I. Loewenstein, M.D., Adam Neaman, Ph.D., and several colleagues. The English version of the program is available worldwide through the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery Foundation, the research and charitable arm of a 9,000-member international society dedicated to improving the education and skill sets of anterior segment surgeons.

"The Cataract Master aims to minimize clinical risk while providing residents and practicing ophthalmologists with the most authentic cataract surgical experience possible outside the OR," Dr. Loewenstein said. "The goal is to boost skills and confidence, to better prepare residents for the surgical experience, and to raise the quality of patient care everywhere."

Computerbased simulation technology has been used in medical training since the early 2000s, but these tools often did not take into account the hundreds of decision-making requirements that arise during surgery. The Cataract Master is diffe
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Contact: Mary Leach
Mary_Leach@meei.harvard.edu
617-573-4170
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
Source:Eurekalert

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