Vibrant phaco session fires up young ophthalmologists

Dermot McGrath

Posted: Sunday, October 8, 2017

Speakers and delegates at the Young Ophthalmologists Programme


THE wisdom of the old saying that we learn far more from our mistakes than our successes was highlighted in vibrant fashion at yesterday’s Young Ophthalmologists Programme (YOP) day-long session devoted to the topic of “Starting Phaco”.

Chaired by Oliver Findl, Simonetta Morselli and Kaarina Vannas, the less seasoned ophthalmologists were taken on an instructive journey through the various key stages of phacoemulsification, from the initial incision through to hydro-dissection, fragmentation and IOL implantation.

The emphasis was placed firmly on interaction and participation rather than passive learning, with the young ophthalmologists providing the backbone of the session in the form of video cases they submitted illustrating problems encountered or mistakes made in the course of their own early steps into cataract surgery.

“It was a wonderful, educational session for all of us,” remarked Oliver Findl, Chairperson of the YOP. “It’s a very brave thing to do, highlighting one’s errors for the benefit of discussion, and in order to help others overcome similar situations that might crop up in their own surgeries,” he said.

The format of the session in which a didactic lecture by an experienced surgeon is followed by video cases presented by young ophthalmologists lends itself to interaction and discussion, said Dr Findl.

“The good thing about this format is that everybody can take something home, because these are the type of experiences that we all have as surgeons, particularly when we are starting out in our surgical careers. The session was very lively and hopefully very valuable for the many young ophthalmologists who attended,” he said.

One of the key messages that Dr Findl is keen to emphasise is that there are not always right and wrong answers to dealing with tricky surgical situations.

“It is a lot more subtle than that, and this is what makes it fascinating,” said Dr Findl. “We have an experienced panel of surgeons, and one of the things that emerges frequently is that there are several roads to Rome for dealing with a complication or an issue that arises during surgery. It is very valuable because it exposes us to other methods and approaches that are perhaps just as valid,” he said.


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