September 01, 2015

UNESP becomes the first Brazilian residency program to adopt surgical simulation

Starting in July 2015 UNESP Ophthalmology residents will begin practicing cataract surgery and microsurgical skills on virtual patients.


As the first academic residency program in Brazil to acquire the Eyesi surgical simulator residents in the city Botucatu (SP) now can realize unlimited and risk free practice for every intraocular step of cataract surgery.

This is made possible through the innovation of the German-based company VRmagic who specialize in virtual reality simulators for ophthalmology training. "The simulator is an amazing tool which allows training under the microscope, use of the pedal and variations of phaco parameters during capsularhexis, phacoemulsification, aspiration cortical mass and IOL insertion", states Dr. Antonio Carlos Rodrigues, director of surgical training at UNESP.

Using virtual reality as part of the formal resident training experience will serves a unique and progressive teaching tool to expand the surgical experiences of novice surgeons before they attempt live surgery for the first time. "Having the equipment in our service, the residents now never start phacoemulsification in patients without having completed their training on the simulator, it would be unethical", explains Dr. Antonio Carlos Rodrigues.

Dr. Antonio Carlos Rodrigues, director of surgical training at UNESP, along with Dr. Silvana Schellini, Dean of Medicine, at UNESP were responsible for the decision to invest in high fidelity simulation to help Ophthalmology all UNESP residents better master key surgical skills for anterior segment surgery

Systematic use of simulation also can provide surgical mentors objective assessments of a resident’s readiness to undertake live surgery.

The initiative is a reflection of UNESPs on-going commitment to provide the best possible surgical training for its residents.

UNESP Botucatu second year residents with Dr. Antonio Carlos, director of surgical training, cataract fellows, and faculty members during the 2 day training on Eyesi surgical simulator