DOI: 10.4103/ijo.ijo_381_23 ISSN: 0301-4738

What do retina fellows-in-training think about the vitreoretinal surgical simulator: A multicenter survey

Sukanya Mondal, Aditya S Kelkar, Ramandeep Singh, Chaitra Jayadev, V R Saravanan, Jai A Kelkar
  • Ophthalmology


To profile vitreoretinal (VR) fellows-in-training from India exposed to the Eyesi surgical simulator, to identify potential barriers to voluntary use, and enumerate the most preferred tools and tasks before incorporating them into a formal skill-transfer curriculum.


A questionnaire consisting of 22 questions was designed and circulated through an online portal ( to four different institutes of India having a VR surgical fellowship program and using a functional Eyesi (Haag–Streit) simulator. All fellows and trainees who were exposed to the simulator were eligible to participate, irrespective of time spent on the simulator and exposure to training steps on real patients. The responses collected were private and anonymous.


Of the 37 respondents, most (n = 25, 68%) considered surgical simulators to be the best training tool before operating on the human eye. A majority (n = 35, 94.5%) of participants spent <3 h per week on the simulator, which, most (n = 30, 81%) felt was not enough time. The main reasons for this underutilization were work-hour limitations (54.8%), lack of a structured training program (19.3%), or a dedicated supervisor (16.1%). Again, the majority (n = 33, 89%) of participants responded that VR surgical skills acquired during simulator training were transferrable to the operating room, which was reflected by their response (n = 31, 83.7%) that simulator-based training should be made mandatory before operating room exposure.


This study gives an insight into the overall practice patterns and preferences in simulation training of surgical VR fellows-in-training across India. It indicates that the simulator is extremely helpful to fellows and if adopted, VR surgical simulators with organized, directed, and supervised sessions will considerably improve the surgical training experience.

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