The results indicate that with proper training and supervision, residents can obtain an acceptably low complication rate using phacoemulsification. As their skill increased, they were able to use phacoemulsification successfully on more complicated cases. Individual skill was also an important factor in the complication rate.
Penetrating keratoplasty is a good treatment option for patients with keratoconus but should be reserved for those who do not tolerate contact lenses or do not get needed visual acuity with contact lenses because of complications. This procedure has become a second-line treatment for keratoconus patients and has generally good results.
The use of phacoemulsification by ophthalmic surgeons has increased markedly over the past five years. Previous studies have reported relatively high rates of vitreous loss by residents learning phacoemulsification. We retrospectively analyzed the complications and results in 300 cases of phacoemulsification with intraocular lens implantation performed by residents. The first 40 cases done by four residents in their second year of training were compared with approximately the last 40 cases done by each resident at the end of the third year. The overall rate of surgical complications was 6.3%, and the total rate of vitreous loss was 3.3%. The rate of surgical complications during the initial surgeries in the second year of residency was 9.3%; it was 3.3% by the end of the third year. The rate of vitreous loss was 5.3% in the second year and 1.3% during the third year. Postoperatively, 90.6% of all eyes had a final best corrected visual acuity of 20/40 or better (95% excluding patients with pre-existing ocular disease). With proper training and supervision, the rate of surgical complications for residents learning phacoemulsification is acceptably low when compared with the rate of extracapsular cataract extraction.
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