Last week I attended the ‘Glaucoma Wet Lab’. Officially for doctors, these are hands on practical events where you are offered the chance to practice surgical techniques on pigs eyes. Whilst I perform a huge range of tests and administer numerous treatments on a daily basis, I have never had the experience of eye surgery, so this was a fantastic experience for an eye enthusiast such as myself.
During the training, which was sponsored by health care company, Allergan, we used proper operating microscopes, amazing instruments which are worth about £500K each, as well as high grade surgical instruments. I, alongside a number of doctors, performed a ‘trabeculectomy’ which is a technique to reduce the pressure in the eye used when glaucoma drops alone aren’t working. It essentially involves making a new drainage channel in the eye to relieve the pressure. You can watch it here if you like, it’s a less gruesome animation of the technique.
There were lectures from the consultants, who assisted each of us with the surgery. I performed pretty admirably with scalpel in hand but the sutures were lot trickier to secure than I’d imagined. Still much to learn but great fun and a fantastic insight. I now have an incredibly detailed understanding of this operation, allowing me to better manage patients who have had it done, with a clearer understanding of the potential complications.
Although I’ll never perform this surgery on a human, it is far better to train yourself beyond your current level of knowledge and expertise than simply repeat what you already know. This has given me new insight into this area, and in fact greater confidence about minor surgical procedures like removing foreign bodies. We are an incredibly passionate team of eye care professionals at Cameron Optometry and never miss an opportunity to further our training. Some opticians go into work every day, do their job, and go home. Our team are complete eye enthusiasts, we live and breath eyes. Eyes are our passion. We aren’t ashamed to admit, we are a team of eye geeks!