Ophthalmology Registrar Rohan Hussain, and Consultant Ophthalmologist and Educational Supervisor, Cordelia McKechnie from the Ophthalmology Team at Whipps Cross Hospital talk about the impact that the Eyesi Surgical VR simulator has had on their trainees and junior ophthalmologists, as well as other surgical staff across London.
Since the launch of the much-needed training tool in May 2021, the Ophthalmology Team at Whipps Cross Hospital has seen a number of benefits and key successes for their ophthalmology staff and other trainees across London.
The Eyesi Surgical has proven to better equip and prepare trainees to perform more complex cataract surgeries. So far, 30 trainee ophthalmologists and aspiring ophthalmic consultants and surgeons from North London have signed up for training.
“One of our first-year speciality trainees was able to do his first cataract surgery quite early on in his first year, which is a good result and probably due to spending a lot of time using the simulator,” said Cordelia.
“The confidence that the simulator gives to trainees that use it is remarkable and this ultimately has an impact on the patients as complications during surgeries are lower, and the simulator even prepares individuals to deal with more complex cases.”
The Eyesi Surgical is a virtual reality simulator for eye surgery training which provides an interface for cataract surgery. The simulator offers an embedded curriculum for ophthalmology trainees, along with assessment and evaluation tools.
“We started very small, allowing our local ophthalmic staff to use it but we are getting more and more trainees from North London and further afield wanting to use the simulator and we are also getting different levels of trainees,” explains Cordelia. “We get individuals that have only completed the foundation training and we are also getting those that come from overseas and want to get back into cataract surgery, so they are also using it.”
Ophthalmology Registrar, Rohan Hussain has been using the Eyesi Surgical for some time and has seen a lot of benefits on his surgical development and an improved confidence when performing real-life cataract surgeries.
“I used the Eyesi Surgical simulator frequently when I first started my training and it helped me to build my confidence. It gave me a better understanding of cataract surgery and the different steps involved,” he explains.
“Although there’s no substitute for real-life surgery, the simulator helps by adequately preparing you for it. There’s nothing else that would get you closer to real-life surgery on a patient.”
Rohan adds that the surgical staff who spend more time on the simulator seem to achieve their cataract surgery competencies quicker and these trainees are often better equipped to perform the more complex cases and deal with any complications they encounter.
“With the simulator you can also learn about the complications that can occur during cataract surgery. Complications are something you obviously want to avoid and minimise, and the good thing is they do not occur very often. The flipside of this is that we as trainees often do not get much exposure to these complications and how to best manage them. The simulator is unique in that it teaches you how to manage your own complications, should they occur,” adds Rohan.
The Eyesi Surgical was purchased from Haag-Streit UK, the Sole UK Distributor of the Eyesi range of virtual reality medical simulators in the UK.
The team at Haag-Streit UK worked closely with Cordelia McKechnie and her team to ensure that the process went smoothly, providing excellent customer service, both pre and post sales. Once the simulator was installed comprehensive ‘train-the-trainer’ education was carried out on the simulator, to enable Whipps Cross’ Education Team to teach their own junior ophthalmologists, and other staff.
Barts Health NHS Trust
With a turnover of £1.7billion and a workforce of around 17,000, Barts Health is a leading healthcare provider in Britain and one of the largest NHS trusts in the country. The Trust’s five hospitals – St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City, including the Barts Heart Centre, The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, Newham Hospital in Plaistow, Whipps Cross Hospital in Leytonstone and Mile End Hospital – deliver high quality compassionate care to the 2.5 million people of east London and beyond.
About Haag-Streit UK
Haag-Streit UK, headquartered in Harlow, Essex, is a leading UK provider of diagnostic and surgical equipment for ophthalmologists, optometrists, and orthoptists. Dedicated to providing tailored diagnostic solutions through the integration of information technology, leading-brand ophthalmic devices, and unparalleled customer care, it focuses on the individual needs of both the Consultant and the Patient. Working closely with the Surgeon, it also provides a comprehensive portfolio of gold-standard micro-surgical instruments and procedures & implants.