Resident surgeon efficiency in femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery
Authors Pittner AC, Sullivan BR
Received 24 November 2016
Accepted for publication 23 December 2016
Published 31 January 2017 Volume 2017:11 Pages 291—297
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lucy Goodman
Peer reviewer comments 2
Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser
Andrew C Pittner,1 Brian R Sullivan2
1Department of Ophthalmology, Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago, Maywood, 2Edward Hines Jr VA Hospital, Ophthalmology Section, Hines, IL, USA
Purpose: Comparison of resident surgeon performance efficiencies in femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery (FLACS) versus conventional phacoemulsification.
Patients and methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted on consecutive patients undergoing phacoemulsification cataract surgery performed by senior ophthalmology residents under the supervision of 1 attending physician during a 9-month period in a large Veterans Affairs medical center. Medical records were reviewed for demographic information, preoperative nucleus grade, femtosecond laser pretreatment, operative procedure times, total operating room times, and surgical complications. Review of digital video records provided quantitative interval measurements of core steps of the procedures, including completion of incisions, anterior capsulotomy, nucleus removal, cortical removal, and intraocular lens implantation.
Results: Total room time, operation time, and corneal incision completion time were found to be significantly longer in the femtosecond laser group versus the traditional phacoemulsification group (each P<0.05). Mean duration for manual completion of anterior capsulotomy was shorter in the laser group (P<0.001). There were no statistically significant differences in the individual steps of nucleus removal, cortical removal, or intraocular lens placement. Surgical complication rates were not significantly different between the groups.
Conclusion: In early cases, resident completion of femtosecond cataract surgery is generally less efficient when trainees have more experience with traditional phacoemulsification. FLACS was found to have a significant advantage in completion of capsulotomy, but subsequent surgical steps were not shorter or longer. Resident learning curve for the FLACS technology may partially explain the disparities of performance. Educators should be cognizant of a potential for lower procedural efficiency when introducing FLACS into resident training.
Keywords: phacoemulsification, cataract extraction, curriculum, residency, learning curve
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