Application of virtual reality in cataract surgery simulation for ophthalmology training

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCataracts
Subtitle of host publicationCauses, Symptoms, and Surgery
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages40
ISBN (Print)9781616689551
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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