Surgical Simulation Training Reduces Intraoperative Cataract Surgery Complications among Residents

Patrick C. Staropoli, Ninel Gregori, Anna Junk, Anat Galor, Raquel Goldhardt, Brian Goldhagen, Wei Shi, William J Feuer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Introduction This retrospective consecutive case series examined whether training on a surgical simulator reduces intraoperative complication rates among novice ophthalmology residents learning cataract surgery. Methods Beginning July 2014, training on the Eyesi simulator became mandatory for novice postgraduate year 3 ophthalmology residents before live cataract surgery at our institution. Complication rates of the 11 simulator-trained residents (study group) were compared with their immediate 11 simulator-naive predecessors (comparison group). Only straightforward cataract cases (according to standardized preoperative criteria) where postgraduate year 3 residents served as the primary surgeon were included. Complication data were obtained from Morbidity and Mortality records and compared using Fisher exact test. A survey was administered to the residents to gauge the perceived utility of simulation training. Results The simulator-trained group (n = 501 cataract cases) and the simulator-naive comparison group (n = 454 cases) were analyzed. The complication rate in the simulator group was 2.4% compared with 5.1% in the comparison group (P = 0.037, Fisher exact test). Both the mean posterior capsule tear rate and vitreous prolapse rate in the simulator group were 2.2% compared with 4.8% in the comparison group (P = 0.032, Fisher exact test). The survey had a response rate of 100% (11/11), and 91% (10/11) of respondents felt that the training was "extremely worthwhile" and should be mandatory. Conclusions The addition of surgical simulation training was associated with a significantly reduced rate of complications, including posterior capsule tears and vitreous prolapse, among novice postgraduate year 3 residents. There is a perceived utility among residents to incorporate virtual simulation into surgical training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-15
Number of pages5
JournalSimulation in Healthcare
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


  • cataract surgery
  • complications
  • education
  • Eyesi
  • Phacoemulsification
  • posterior capsular tear
  • residency training
  • simulation
  • surgical simulator
  • virtual reality
  • vitreous prolapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • Modeling and Simulation

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