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J Cataract Refract Surg. 1999 Dec;25(12):1651-5.

State-of-the-art phacoemulsification performed by residents in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Hospital de Clinicas José de San Martin, School of Medicine, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.



To analyze the learning curve for state-of-the-art phacoemulsification performed by residents.


Department of Ophthalmology, Hospital de Clinicas José de San Martin, University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


The records of patients having phacoemulsification performed by residents from June 1996 to January 1998 were reviewed for preoperative and postoperative best corrected visual acuities and the occurrence of complications. The phacoemulsification technique used for the first 35 surgeries of each resident was compared with that of their last 35 surgeries.


The records showed 249 cases of phacoemulsification by residents. Mean preoperative best corrected visual acuity was 0.19 +/- 0.19 (SD). One month postoperatively, it was 0.86 +/- 0.2. Nuclear fracture was performed in a mean of 28.33 +/- 5.0 of the first 35 surgeries by each resident, whereas chopping techniques were used in a mean of 23.33 +/- 1.5 of the last 35 cases. Vitreous loss occurred in 2.8% of cases.


Residents learned cracking and chopping phacoemulsification techniques safely with satisfactory outcomes.

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