Basic training module for vitreoretinal surgery and the Casey Eye Institute Vitrectomy Indices Tool for Skills Assessment

Steven Yeh, Brian T. Chan-Kai, Andreas K. Lauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: The purpose of this study was to design and implement a vitreoretinal training module that would be useful for ophthalmology residents and fellows to learn the basic maneuvers required in vitreoretinal surgery. Methods: A prospective pilot study evaluating the training module was undertaken in 13 ophthalmology trainees (residents and vitreoretinal fellows) with varying levels of vitreoretinal training experience. A vitreoretinal training module was designed and consisted of a three-port vitrectomy setup (sclerotomy wound construction, infusion placement), intraocular tasks (core vitrectomy, driving the operating microscope, membrane peel, air-fluid exchange), and wound closure. Standard vitrectomy instrumentation, the VitRet eye (Phillips Studio, Bristol, UK) and vitreous-like fluid using dairy creamer and balanced saline were utilized. A five-point Likert scale, ie, the Casey Eye Institute Vitrectomy Indices Tool for Skills Assessment (CEIVITS), was devised to evaluate each component of the module. Vitreoretinal surgical maneuvers were digitally recorded and graded by an attending vitreoretinal surgeon. Linear regression and correlation were performed to evaluate the relationship between prior vitreoretinal experience and CEIVITS performance. The main outcome measures were correlation of vitreoretinal surgical experience and CEIVITS performance on simulated tasks using a basic vitreoretinal training module. Results: Thirteen participants from postgraduate year 2 to postgraduate year 6 levels were evaluated. Nine participants were male and four were female. The median age of participants was 32 (range 30-36) years and surgical experience was 0-410 prior vitreoretinal surgical procedures. A positive correlation (P < 0.05) was observed between vitreoretinal surgical experience and CEIVITS performance on the following tasks: total score (P = 0.021), sclerotomy wound construction (P = 0.047), infusion line placement (P = 0.012), air-fluid exchange (P = 0.004), and wound closure (P = 0.032). Post module surveys showed that the majority of trainees felt that the vitreoretinal training module improved their understanding of vitreoretinal surgery. The nonbiohazardous nature of the setup was advantageous from sanitation and cost perspectives. Conclusion: The implementation of our training module for residency and vitreoretinal fellowship was feasible and the CEIVITS adequately assessed basic vitrectomy maneuvers. Given that ophthalmologic and subspecialty instruction migrates from an apprenticeship to a competency-based model, the face and content validity makes the CEIVITS module a promising one in vitreoretinal surgical instruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1249-1256
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Ophthalmology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 17 2011


  • Ophthalmology residents
  • Surgical
  • Vitreoretinal training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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