Oct 31st 2016

Introduction to Cataract Surgery (Coursera)

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This comprehensive course will give you the fundamental knowledge needed to begin performing cataract surgery by phacoemulsification and extracapsular removal. Each step from preoperative evaluation to postoperative care will be covered to help prepare you for the operating room.

Cataracts remain the leading cause of visual impairment and blindness worldwide. The development of this course was an effort to make learning to perform cataract surgery more accessible to trainees in the US and worldwide. The course teaches the fundamentals required to perform successful phacoemulsification and extracapsular cataract surgery. Expert cataract surgeons will lecture on each step of cataract surgery from preoperative assessment to postoperative care. Lectures will explain the “how-to,” pitfalls, and successful execution of each part of cataract surgery. Surgical video is included to demonstrate optimal performance of various steps. More advanced topics such as small pupil, astigmatism, and capsular complications are also reviewed. Since most cataract surgeries are done with the patient awake, it is imperative that the surgeon gains as much knowledge as possible prior to entering the operating room.

Course Objectives:

1. Describe proper technique for performing cataract surgery, from wound construction to wound closure

2. Evaluate a patient with cataracts in preparation for surgery and determine the appropriate anesthetic to use

3. Know how to identify potentially difficult cataracts and list appropriate strategies for complicated cataract surgery

4. Understand intraocular lens calculations, forumlas, and selection



Unit 1: Prior to the Operating Room

This unit describes what needs to take place prior to getting the patient to the operating room. Although this unit may seem trivial, knowing when to make the decision to do surgery, having a good informed consent discussion, selecting an intraocular lens and anesthetic type are critical to a successful surgery and happy patient.

Graded: PRE-TEST

Graded: Unit 1 Content Quiz


Unit 2: In the Operating Room and Getting to the Cataract

This unit begins in the operating room after the patient is prepped and draped. It covers each step needed for you to access the lens. Once you begin operating, you will realize that each step of surgery has a domino effect. If the beginning steps are not done skillfully, it will make the rest of the case more difficult. Graded: Unit 2 Content Quiz


Unit 3: Removing the Cataract and Intraocular Lens Placement

This unit is where all the fun begins. The lectures cover lens and cortex removal. We also discuss intraocular lenses and their insertion into the eye. While lens removal is the most critical step of surgery, it is also where the most serious complications occur, so pay attention!

Graded: Unit 3 Content Quiz


Unit 4: Cataract Complications and Extras

This unit covers some additional tools and strategies you will need to manage complications and difficult cataracts. Just like every person isn’t the same, neither is every cataract. Fortunately, we have many tips and tricks that will help you succeed no matter what type of cataract you tackle.

Graded: Unit 4 Content Quiz