Sarum Vision has hosted a training event for Ophthalmology doctors in training from across the Wessex region. This whole day event allowed the trainee eye surgeons to get hands on practical experience using our cutting edge technology with a series of surgical simulation workstations. The day was organised by our colleague Mrs Karinya Lewis and was supported by a faculty of Consultant Ophthalmologists from across the Wessex region with endorsement from the Wessex Professional Development Unit and industry experts from Zeiss, Heidelberg Engineering, Alcon, Daybreak Medical and Allergan.
The day kicked off with a crucial talk on how to deal with intraoperative complications during cataract surgery from Mr Larry Benjamin, Consultant Ophthalmologist, who is an internationally renowned speaker on cataract surgery training. The trainee doctors were then split into small groups to rotate around each workstation and everyone had a chance to get hands-on experience as well as direct one-to-one feedback from an expert at their side.
Skills taught during the day on the subject of glaucoma included how to perform and understand the output of a Zeiss Humphry Visual Field Analyser in the context of glaucoma, how to perform Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty and manage the patient for best outcomes and how to insert a Xen microstent device to lower a patient’s eye pressure. Trainees learnt valuable lessons on interpreting visual field tests and through the use of simulation eyes were able to practise without fear of doing harm and giving them confidence and the skills to hit the ground running when the time comes to perform live surgery. They were able to hone their skills for laser whilst getting a first opportunity on how to insert the ground-breaking Xen microstent.
Trainees were taught different techniques to repair an injured cornea through the use of glue and sutures by Mr Matthew Wakefield one of our very own Sarum Vision Consultants. These emergency situations crop up rarely in emergency clinics so it is important that trainees get regular practice and their competency formally assessed so that they can use the skills they have learned in emergency situations with confidence.
Another sight-saving surgery that is needed in emergency situations is to release the pressure in the eye socket, called a retrobulbar haemorrhage, through making relieving incisions in the eyelid and orbit structures under the expert eye of Mr Ben Parkin, Consultant Ophthalmologist from Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital. The trainees learned to do this on pigs-heads provided by a local butcher. Trainees could then practice stitching the tissues back together to restore a good cosmetic appearance (for a dead pig!) once the emergency was resolved.
Another simulated station run by colleagues from Allergan allowed trainees to implant an Ozurdex implant into a simulated eye. This is a tricky but important procedure performed to prevent complications from diabetic eye disease and blockages of the retinal blood vessels.. The trainee doctors appreciated the safety of the simulation environment in inserting these devices so they can be confident of their skills to perform on patients in the future.
An expert tutor from Heidelberg Engineering demonstrated Sarum Vision’s cutting edge Anterion machine and how it should be used to get the very best outcomes from cataract surgery. Using real life anonymised examples the trainees learned clinical pearls in corneal and biometric assessment to ensure their patients get the best results.
At the end of a long day both the training faculty and trainee doctors were exhausted but felt that it was time well spent. We received excellent feedback from the trainees and they were very appreciative of having some face-to-face hands on teaching in what has been a difficult time for learning practical skills during the pandemic.
Sarum Vision is proud to be able to help train the surgeons of the future which we believe strongly is a key responsibility of our profession. We look forward to holding many more successful training events for all types of eye health professionals in the future. Watch this space for further news!