What Is Virtual Eye Surgery?

What Is Virtual Eye Surgery?

Virtual eye surgery is a simulator program for students and doctors that allows them to practice repairing the eye. It is a valuable tool in the training of ophthalmologists. Before the invention of this learning device, training was practiced on live individuals under the supervision of an instructor or in a “wet” environment with they eye from a cadaver. With the expectations of high quality surgery and the increasing pressure to for it to be consistent, a virtual reality computer model of the eye was invented. Virtual reality simulators have been used for years while pilots train. It lets them run through the simulations and flight planning without actually having to be on a real plane, now it is also used to practice eye surgery.

Eye surgery is a very delicate operation. If anything goes wrong, the patient could end up blind in one or both eyes. The idea of virtual laser eye surgery has gotten its fair share of criticism the same as any other new idea always does. Since it’s conception in the early 1960′s, critics have often been concerned about there being higher risks with this type of training in the beginning stages of surgical training. Because of technological advancements, computer simulated training has actually been found to be far more superior to the traditional training on a live patient.

A three dimensional computer model that simulates the realistic structure of the eye, with all of it’s layers and veins was developed, and it has also helped in the furthering of research without any risk to the patient. Trainees can use the virtual model to not only practice but to take refresher courses throughout their career and improve their skills for eye surgery.

The benefits of this type of training are great because the computer software is inexpensive and easily accessible. Other benefits are that the computer models can simulate many types of eye problems, test competency and comprehension and allow trainees to review the new techniques as they learn them. Virtual eye surgery is now used all over the world. As technology improves, so will the simulators, allowing trainees to improve techniques with it.