Marina Roizenblatt, Peter L. Gehlbach, Vitor D. G. Marin, Arnaldo Roizenblatt, Vinicius da S. Saraiva, Mauricio H. Nakanami, Luciana da C. Noia, Sung E. S. Watanabe, Erika S. Yasaki, Renato M. Passos, Octaviano Magalhães Junior, Rodrigo A. B. Fernandes, Francisco R. Stefanini, Rafael Caiado, Kim Jiramongkolchai, Michel E. Farah, Rubens Belfort Junior, Mauricio Maia


  • Ophthalmology
  • General Medicine

Purpose. To evaluate novice and senior vitreoretinal surgeons after various exposures. Multiple comparisons ranked the importance of these exposures for surgical dexterity based on experience. Methods. This prospective cohort study included 15 novice and 11 senior vitreoretinal surgeons (<2 and >10 years’ practice, respectively). Eyesi-simulator tasks were performed after each exposure. Day 1, placebo, 2.5 mg/kg caffeine, and 5.0 mg/kg caffeine; day 2, placebo, 0.2 mg/kg propranolol, and 0.6 mg/kg propranolol; day 3, baseline simulation, breathalyzer readings of 0.06%-0.10% and 0.11%-0.15% blood-alcohol concentrations; day 4, baseline simulation, push-up sets with 50% and 85% repetitions maximum; and day 5, 3-hour sleep deprivation. Eyesi-generated score (0-700, worst-best), out-of-tolerance tremor (0-100, best-worst), task completion time (minutes), and intraocular pathway (mm) were measured. Results. Novice surgeons performed worse after caffeine (-29.53, 95% confidence interval [CI]: -57.80 to -1.27, p=0.041), and alcohol (-51.33, 95% CI: -80.49 to -22.16, p=0.001). Alcohol caused longer pathways (212.84 mm, 95% CI: 34.03 to 391.65 mm, p=0.02) and greater tremor (7.72, 95% CI: 0.74 to 14.70, p=0.003) among novices. Sleep deprivation negatively affected novice performance time (2.57 minutes, 95% CI: 1.09 to 4.05 minutes, p=0.001) and tremor (8.62, 95% CI: 0.80 to 16.45, p=0.03); however, their speed increased after propranolol (-1.43 minutes, 95% CI: -2.71 to -0.15 minutes, p=0.029). Senior surgeons’ scores deteriorated only following alcohol (-47.36, 95% CI: -80.37 to -14.36, p=0.005). Conclusion. Alcohol compromised all participants despite their expertise level. Experience negated the effects of caffeine, propranolol, exercise, and sleep deprivation on surgical skills.

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