Introduction to Cataract Surgery

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.

About The Course

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


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can we contact the instructors?  The instructor will be nearby and monitoring the course.  The discussion forum is an important part of class and your fellow students will answer many questions.  Instructors will do their best to answer questions in a timely manner.  

  2. What about timing? Can I take this self-paced? This is a semi-paced class.  Within each week, students may watch the lectures and answer the questions at any given time.  We will continue to move the course along and there will be due dates for the homework to keep all of us moving forward together.  We expect that you will finish the assignments each week and not wait until the last week of the the course to complete all the assignments. 

  3. Will I get a certificate at the end of this course? Yes, we will provide a certificate of completion for those who complete the components of this course.  However, in order to perform cataract surgery you should be enrolled in a training program or have privileges at a hospital or ambulatory surgery center.  
Disclaimer:
The content of the lectures are based on the lecturers' opinions and personal experience with cataract surgery.  The content does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the whole faculty group and should be used as general guidelines as you develop the art of cataract surgery.   Attribution:

Special thanks to Iowa University EyeRounds.org for permission to use photos and video. The course logo composite is shared with a Creative Commons CC BY-SA license, and contains an image provided courtesy of Ian Boggs.

Recommended Background

  • Enrollment in or completion of an Ophthalmology training program
  • Understanding of the anatomy of the eye and orbit
  • Interest in learning about cataract surgery