Our phaco machines have built in speakers and they make sounds that provide the surgeon with important real-time feedback while the surgeon focuses on performing the cataract surgery. The machine can make sounds to let you know which position the foot pedal is engaging, to let you know the vacuum level, to tell you that the tip is occluded, and to let you know there is a problem. In addition, these machines have voice software that allows the machine to tell us which mode we are in and if there are other alerts such a bag fluid level being low. The most important auditory feedback for performing phaco chop is the vacuum level.
As the pitch of the sound rises, it indicates an increasing vacuum level. Our goal in phaco chop is to occlude the tip with the nucleus while allowing the vacuum level to rise. Then, once the vacuum has peaked, we have great holding power by the phaco tip so that our chopper can easily break the nucleus into smaller pieces. This video features a guest surgeon who does a superb job of phaco chop in a very dense cataract.
click to learn how the auditory feedback can help you learn efficient phaco chop: