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

rent in that it offers a self-guided, self-correcting curriculum that requires trainees to make decisions based on realistic surgical situations. The simulator, which can be accessed from any personal computer, contains realistic animations along with videos of actual surgeries complete with expert discussions of each phase of the procedure. The interactive program includes frequent pop-up questions relating to the various surgical steps, with user answers then animated on-screen. If the user makes a serious error, videos provide immediate feedback explaining how the problem occurred, what to do to fix it, and how to avoid making the same mistake again.

"This essentially allows new phaco surgeons to learn from their mistakes and to master life-like surgery without risking injury to a patient," said Dr. Henderson. "This type of immersion learning is simply not possible any other way, and provides an excellent transition to the operating room."

To test its effectiveness, the developers conducted a multicenter, randomized trial at eight residency programs, which compared the Cataract Master to traditional teaching tools. Results showed that residents enjoyed using the program and preferred its method of learning. The study results were published in the journal, Ophthalmology, in February 2010.

"The Cataract Master is a unique and original instructional tool for phacoemulsification cataract surgery. The animated simulation provides a realistic interactive experience, with advice along the way via video clips of experts in the field, based on trainee surgical decisions during the exercise. It is an outstanding tool to teach thought processes and decision-making during cataract surgery, highly recommended for ophthalmology resident training," said Anthony Arnold, M.D., Residency Program Director, Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA Dept. of Ophthalmology.


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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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