Ophthalmic surgery requires dexterous, microscopic and accurate manipulations ofdelicate ocular tissues. The manual skills are conventionally acquired in ophthalmologyeducation through apprenticeship training, didactic learning, wet-lab experience, and realsurgery performed on patients. A promising approach to improve the learning curve isvirtual surgical training. By virtual training, novices can practise ocular procedures in asafe and flexible computer-simulated environment. Self-learning can be performed at anytime, under various simulated scenarios, and with objective quantitative measures. Thedevelopment of realistic virtual training simulators is however not a trivial task. In thischapter, the application of virtual reality technologies for simulating ophthalmic surgerywill be introduced. A review of virtual surgical simulators developed for ophthalmologytraining will be presented, followed by discussions specifically focused on the technicalaspects of virtual simulator development for learning cataract surgery, which include themodelling of virtual ocular tissues, physical simulations of tissue deformation and cuttingduring the ocular procedures, as well as the user interfaces adopted for performing virtualsurgery. Each of these components plays a key role in the level of realism and immersionoffered by the virtual environments, and ultimately affecting the practicality of using thesimulators for ophthalmology training. On the other hand, clinical evaluations on theusability and effectiveness of virtual simulators for surgical training are also reviewed.While the importance of conventional training approaches is undeniable, virtual realitysimulators have the potential to serve as complementary training aids to further enhanceophthalmology education.
|Title of host publication||Cataracts|
|Subtitle of host publication||Causes, Symptoms, and Surgery|
|Publisher||Nova Science Publishers, Inc.|
|Number of pages||40|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2010|
ASJC Scopus subject areas