Residents are required to participate in wet labs, during which the skills and techniques employed in ophthalmic surgery are practiced and perfected. The overall objectives of wet lab sessions are for residents to:
- Understand proper techniques employed in ophthalmic surgery
- Understand the names and uses of ophthalmic instruments
- Practice eye-hand coordination under the operating microscope
- Practice dexterity with handling of various tissues
- Develop an understanding of intra- and post-operative complications
Wet labs are divided into modules which last between 4-8 weeks, depending on the complexity of the skills being acquired. The wet lab modules include:
- corneal, scleral, and conjunctival surgery
- glaucoma surgery
- strabismus surgery
- oculoplastics surgery
- amniotic membrane
- botulinum toxin
During the first session in a module, a faculty member gives a short didactic session related to a particular type of surgery and then demonstrates the proper use of technique. Subsequently, each resident is expected to practice these skills independently in the wet lab for at least 30 minutes per week, for a total of 3 to 4 hours.
Residents take a written pre-test/quiz prior to starting a module, and then a post-test/quiz at its completion so that progress in the wet lab may be monitored. In addition, at the completion of a module, a faculty member will assess the resident’s proficiency in wet lab techniques through a wet lab evaluation specific for that module.
The Department utilizes both the KITARO WetLab and KITARO DryLab for early exposure to the techniques in cataract surgery. These labs are used in the modules, and are also available for self practice.