Ophthalmologists from all over Spain are training in 3D surgery at Bellvitge University Hospital

- Training
Until July, a series of training sessions for ophthalmologists are being held to stimulate the use of 3D technology in ophthalmic surgery. The sessions consist of on on-site observation in the operating theatres of the Bellvitge University Hospital and of Wet-lab simulation at the Alcon Experience Center in Barcelona.

The Alcon’s 'Course of transition to the 3D visualisation system in ophthalmic surgery' with the collaboration of the HUB aims to facilitate the adaptation to the use of 3D technology in different surgical techniques through the combination of classroom observation in real operating rooms and Wet-Lab simulation. In this way, participants will be able to visualise live different techniques, such as vitrectomy, phacoemulsification or glaucoma treatment, and to apply them later.

The new 3D visualisation systems allow surgeons to have a more intuitive experience. Programme director and head of the ophthalmology service at the HUB, Dr Josep María Caminal, explains that this technology offers "a greater depth of field, which makes surgery easier, especially in complex cases. It also gives the surgeon a panoramic view on a large-format screen, which is especially useful in high-precision surgery such as macular surgery. In addition, with this system, we use a lower intensity of illumination in the eye, which means less light toxicity, and we can use filters to improve the image and better visualise certain structures. At an educational level, it also provides benefits, as "it allows all those attending the surgery to have exactly the same visualisation and experience as the surgeon," he stresses.

Practical training in the use of these state-of-the-art tools is essential for them to be correctly integrated into clinical practice. Dr Caminal states that "it is necessary to combine theoretical concepts with the immediate applicability of certain techniques, as it allows students to visualise how to implement these new technologies in their usual surgical space". In this sense, the 'Course of transition to the 3D visualisation system in ophthalmic surgery' offers participants the opportunity to "see first-hand our regular experience in operating theatres and the implementation we have made of this technique in our day-to-day work". The courses will be held over several days and each session will be attended by ophthalmologists from leading hospitals throughout Spain, who will be tutored by specialists in surgery with 3D visualisation.

During the first part of observation in the operating theatres of the HUB, the participants will attend real interventions with a visualisation system that allows the surgeon to perform the procedures by observing a high-definition 3D screen. During the second part of the course, participants will perform a simulation with this 3D visualisation system in the Alcon Experience Center, a space that has Wet-Lab simulation stations for crystalline lens and retina surgery, a Dry-Lab area with cutting-edge equipment for refractive surgery and a virtual reality station.

According to Paulo Pinto, Surgical Franchise Head Iberia at Alcon, "we are at a time of transformation in eye surgery marked by disruptive advances, such as 3D visualisation systems. At Alcon we are convinced that continuous and updated training is the fundamental way to ensure that all these innovations turn into the best results for patients. For this reason, we collaborate with experts and centres of reference to develop high-level training programmes that contribute to the excellence of ophthalmologists and optometrists and raise the standards in practical training in ophthalmic surgery".

A European benchmark centre for ophthalmology training

The Alcon Experience Center (AEC), inaugurated in Barcelona at the end of 2021, is the largest Alcon eye health and surgery training centre in Europe, with more than 1700 m2 distributed on a single floor. It is equipped with the latest advances and will train around 2000 professionals from all over the world yearly, mainly ophthalmologists, optometrists, nurses, students, Alcon staff and members of scientific societies. Its mission is to advance towards excellence in the treatment of eye diseases. The AEC Barcelona is part of the Alcon Experience Academy, a global training network with more than 80 training centres around the world and the most comprehensive international training programme.