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Cataract Surgery Techniques

Just out of cataract surgery, this man will soon have his eye patches removed and will experience the elation of restored vision.

While, many causes of illness require long-term treatment (medication, monitoring, hospitalization), cataract does not. Cataract surgery is a one-time, low-cost procedure yielding dramatic results.

Protocol for Cataract Surgery Optimized for Use in Developing Countries, as designed by the Himalayan Cataract Project and the Tilganga Eye Centre

To allow widespread delivery of cataract surgery in developing countries, innovations that continue to decrease cost and complexity while preserving the highest level of safety and visual outcomes are urgently needed. HCP is dedicated to creating and implementing solutions to the barriers that impede delivery of cataract care in underserved parts of the trans-Himalayan region. For example, low-cost, portable, and robust operating microscopes and YAG lasers have been developed at TEC.
Source: "Fighting Global Blindness"

The HCP is committed to training surgeons and support staff in the developing world in the highest quality surgical techniques that are sustainable in their countries or context. To accomplish this, we continue to be a leader in the innovation of cataract removal techniques, including improving patient access and teaching advanced technology (such as phacoemulsification), facilitating access to quality low cost consumables, and developing increasingly efficient models of surgical delivery.

HCP Performs Cataract Surgery in a Small Nepalese Village

Recounted by Dr. Geoff Tabin:

“For the next three days, 12 hours a day, Dr. Ruit and I perform surgery side by side in a makeshift operating room without any high-tech equipment besides our microscope. When the generator fails, we continue using the microscope to work on eyes illuminated by flashlights, which our dedicated assistants hold.

Technicians, whom Dr. Ruit and I trained, inject local anesthetic to numb the patients' eyes and prepare them for surgery. When an operation is finished, the patient is rolled off one side of the table and the next patient is rolled on. The new patient's face is painted with antiseptic and surgery continues. The turnover time between patients is less than one minute. Dr. Ruit has no trouble sustaining a rate of seven perfect surgeries per hour for a 12-hour operating day.

For a cost of about $20, these patients get approximately the same surgery that was state of the art in America 10 years ago.”