To reduce the surgical risks to patients and expose surgeons to surgical experience and complications, we have developed a practical system of vitreous surgery using virtual-reality technology.
The system is composed of high-resolution color stereo binoculars, haptic devices, foot switches, and a high-speed graphics computer. To simulate vitreous surgery, we created several virtual patient eyes with retinal diseases such as preretinal membranes and subretinal neovascular tissue at the fovea.
The simulator provided the trainees with an operating environment similar to an actual one, and allowed them to learn to maneuver surgical instruments and remove proliferative tissue on the retina, under the retina, or both. This system allowed surgeons to avoid iatrogenic complications through visual signs such as retinal hemorrhage when the instrument contacted the retinal surface.
This simulator may not only be suitable for residents to learn ocular surgical techniques but may also allow veteran surgeons to develop new surgical methods and skills.
Hikichi T, Yoshida A, Igarashi S, Mukai N, Harada M, Muroi K, Terada T. Vitreous Surgery Simulator. Arch Ophthalmol. 2000;118(12):1679-1681. doi:10.1001/archopht.118.12.1679