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The following testimonial account is provided by Ms Bita Manzouri, BSc. MBBS MRCP FRCOphth. Ph.D CertLRS, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Queen’s Hospital and Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer at Barts and The London School of Medicine, and explains how her team has moved on from traditional metal IA handpieces.
It doesn’t matter how experienced you are - trainee or veteran surgeon - the moment a patient’s posterior capsule is ruptured is gut-wrenching. I can still remember when this first happened to me and the feeling of sheer dismay.
For trainees, a rupture can cause a devastating drain in confidence which can linger for weeks, months or sometimes much longer, stalling their education and willingness to challenge themselves. For patients, beyond the physical discomfort, it’s emotionally traumatic and can lead to a breakdown in trust with their doctor.
And, then of course there’s the cost and time to factor in.
Ruptures lead to more hospital attendances – not great at the current time – expensive corrections and complications which can cost thousands to fix. Thousands happen every year in the UK1.
Much better, then, to remove the risk of rupture entirely, if we can. And, we have tools at our disposal that can significantly contribute to the reduction of this risk.
Simply upgrading a traditional metal IA handpiece to a silicone tipped IA handpiece, can achieve this. The data is persuasive as are my first-hand experiences as a surgeon and a trainer.
Since we adopted Bausch + Lomb CapsuleGuard® IA handpieces at my hospital, we have had zero ruptures that I know of during IA. My trainees love the silicone tip – I have witnessed a visible lift in their confidence and I also feel more confident to let them challenge themselves, and so they learn more, faster.
For me, it seems a no-brainer to take the precaution and make the switch, minimising complications and associated costs, and maximising results for hospitals and patients. I believe silicone tipped IAs, such as CapsuleGuard®, should be the new gold standard in IA safety and there is no reason why silicone-tipped IA handpieces shouldn’t form part of regular practice throughout the UK.
1 National Ophthalmology Database Audit, Year 5 Annual Report, 2020. Last accessed November 2020. Available at: https://www.nodaudit.org.uk/u/docs/20/hqsrgmurnv/NOD%20Audit%20Full%20Annual%20Report%202020.pdf