Cataract surgery goes virtual

Trainee eye surgeons across South Australia can now practice delicate cataract surgery before they step into the operating theatre with the arrival of a new virtual reality simulator at Flinders Medical Centre – the first in South Australia.

The new $250,000 Eyesi VR Simulator allows trainee ophthalmologists to practice their techniques on a virtual head and eye socket using a computer-connected microscope. They can then run through scenarios for routine and difficult surgeries as well as unexpected complications.

Cataract surgery is the world’s most common eye surgery, with around 15,000 operations performed in South Australia each year.

“The virtual reality simulator is a far less stressful way to learn procedures and gain expertise, and it will make it easier for surgeons to transition to operating on patients,” FMC Head of Ophthalmology, Associate Professor Richard Mills says.

"This equipment has a proven track record of improving surgeon performance and patient safety in the surgical training of ophthalmologists." 

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