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OPT026: Cataract and Refractive Surgery

This module aims to provide optometrists with detailed insight into all aspects of cataract and refractive surgery, from the earliest pre-operative considerations through the technical aspects of surgery and ending with post-operative care of routine and complicated cases.

Thereafter, the optometrist should be able to advise patients on their refractive surgical options, the process of assessing suitability for each option, what each treatment entails, and the the benefit vs. risk equation of the various options. A description of diagnostic instrumentation is provided, with discussion around their pre-operative and post-operative use. The post-operative care of routine and complex patients is considered.

Likewise for cataract patients, the optometrist should be able to counsel patients regarding technical aspects of cataract surgery, the patient’s own surgical risk profile, what is involved in the assessment process for planning surgery, and the types of lens implant that may be considered for implantation at the end of surgery. The module will also describe scenarios that pose more of a challenge to achieving a satisfactory outcome and how these challenges may be handled. The post-operative care of patients is also considered.

Start dateSeptember
Duration20 contact hours over one academic term
Credits10 credits - CET points available
Module tutorsAisling O'Donovan
Module codeOPT026

Learning objectives

By the end of the module, you should be able to:

  • understand the examination methods and techniques required for a clinical assessment of the vision and anterior segment in respect of cataract and refractive surgery.
  • appreciate the variety of equipment and instrumentation that is used in assessment of the anterior segment, and their fundamental functional principles.
  • be aware of the refractive surgical technologies and techniques that are presently available to surgeons and patients.
  • understand the place of each technology / technique in the field of cataract and refractive surgery.
  • comprehend the influence of patient factors in determining the most appropriate range of treatment options for each patient, particularly with respect to refractive error, age, lifestyle and desired outcome.
  • be aware of potential risks and complications associated with refractive surgical techniques and how they may be avoided or managed.
  • understand the aetiology of cataracts, the spectrum of symptoms they produce, and the indications for surgery according to benefits vs. risks.
  • be aware of the process and methodology of Biometry.  Specifically, the methods by which intraocular lens calculations are made in a variety of clinical scenarios including routine cases, astigmats, prior refractive surgery, and other non-standard situations.
  • appreciate the surgical techniques of cataract surgery in routine cases, some of the challenges that may be faced, and methods of addressing theses challenges.
  • appreciate the post-operative management of routine and complicated cataract patients, including the role of the optometrist and timing of refraction in each case.

How the module will be delivered

This module is taught via 10 lectures (Powerpoint with audio), delivered via Learning Central, the University’s e-learning system, with supporting resources and references supplied. There is an introductory webinar, and a further session of guided online learning. This is a distance learning only module.

How the module will be assessed

These are formative key features scenarios, where the learner can work through the case by answering questions. Students will submit 1 written coursework as a formative assessment for which they will receive feedback (1500-2000 words)

Online Examination (100%): There is a MCQ test that will assess comprehension and application across the entire syllabus which students take at the end of the lecture series.

The pass mark for each component is 50%. Students must pass the module overall, and also pass each individual component.

Skills that will be practised and developed

Academic skills:

  • Collate information from a number of resources to improve learning.
  • The interpretation and synthesis of clinical data.
  • Advancing own knowledge and understanding to higher level.

Subject-specific skills:

  • The enhancement of clinical examination techniques.
  • To develop practical skills to assess and advise cataract and refractive patients.
  • Thorough knowledge of diagnostic work-up, treatment options, achievable outcomes and post-operative management for cataract and refractive patients.
  • Clinical management and decision making in cataract and refractive surgical candidates.
    Working in a clinical environment.

Generic skills:

  • Time management.
  • Working independently.
  • Improve problem solving skills.
  • Communication skills.