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Surgeon. 2014 Feb;12(1):7-10. doi: 10.1016/j.surge.2013.05.002. Epub 2013 Jun 10.

An evaluation of stereoacuity (3D vision) in practising surgeons across a range of surgical specialities.

Author information

  • 1Moorfields Eye Clinic, St George's Hospital, 162 City Road, London EC1V 2PD, UK.
  • 2Moorfields Eye Clinic, St George's Hospital, 162 City Road, London EC1V 2PD, UK. Electronic address: Nadeem.Ali@moorfields.nhs.uk.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Judging depth is important in surgery. Although there are several cues that permit depth perception, stereoacuity has been singled out as a possible predictor of surgical ability. However, it is not clear whether high-grade stereoacuity is necessary for a career in surgery. To help answer this, we aimed to evaluate stereoacuities in practising surgeons across a range of surgical specialities.

METHODS:

We recorded stereoacuity values on 66 surgeons working at a London teaching hospital using three standard stereotests: Titmus, TNO and Frisby. There were 36 Trainees and 30 Consultants, covering 12 surgical specialities.

RESULTS:

Median stereoacuities (with range) for the whole group were: 40 s arc on Titmus (40-800), 30 s arc on TNO (15-480) and 20 s arc on Frisby (20-600). Four surgeons had no recordable stereoacuity on TNO, and one was also unrecordable on Titmus. Three of these four were Consultants. Depending on the test used, high-grade stereopsis was found in 74%-83% of surgeons while reduced stereopsis was found in 2%-14% of surgeons.

CONCLUSION:

While we found that most surgeons in current NHS practice have high-grade stereoacuity, there are also surgeons with reduced stereopsis and some with no stereopsis. The findings do not therefore support the assertion that high-grade stereopsis is a universal requirement for a career in surgery. It would be difficult to justify setting a stereoacuity criterion for entrance into a surgical training programme.

Copyright © 2013 Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (Scottish charity number SC005317) and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

3D; Stereoacuity; Stereopsis; Surgeon; Surgery; Training

PMID:
23764432
[PubMed - in process]
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