Please take note that there is now a separate link for Curriculum & Special Series on the homepage of CataractCoach.com at the top right of the screen.
Lesson 3 in our semimonthly series to teach beginning surgeons is to ensure that you are ready to operate. In that regard, the four videos featured today all relate to preparing mentally, setting up the microscope and phaco machine, and learning surgical judgment.
Many young surgeons who are learning tend to get very nervous or anxious in the operating room. This leads to a worse performance and a higher risk of complications. It can even cause the surgeon to get a tremor or shake during the surgery (My fellow USA ophthalmologists will laugh if I say, “Do you want fries with that shake?”) This anxiety is able to be controlled by your state of mind and with mindful breathing techniques. There is no need to put sublingual timolol drops to have the effect of a beta blocker on board (seriously, I have heard of residents doing this, but it is not a wise move).
Setting up your microscope and phaco machine is something that you must know how to do on your own. As the surgeon, ultimately, everything is on your shoulders and if there are issues with the machines, you need to know how to trouble shoot them.
It was taught to me decades ago that any surgeon can operate, but it takes a surgeon with judgment to know when not to operate. This final video explains four important situations when you should not operate.