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  • Writer's pictureAtanas Bogoev M.D.

Cataract Surgery Training Courses in Europe

Updated: Jun 22

Cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures in ophthalmology. Therefore phacoemulsification training and practical experience are essential for budding ophthalmologists. Across Europe, we are lucky to have esteemed organizations and institutions offering wetlab cataract surgery training courses. Courses with hands-on experience with mentors, where trainees can hone their surgical techniques and develop their skills in a controlled and educational environment.

Dr Atanas Bogoev

This article explores ten important courses and institutions offering cataract surgery wetlab training courses in Europe. So let's dive in:

Phacoemulsification Courses and Cataract Wetlabs in Europe

1. ESASO (European School for Advanced Studies in Ophthalmology)

screenshot from the ESASO site

The European School for Advanced Studies in Ophthalmology (ESASO) offers a calendar of educational events, including wetlab courses in various fields of ophthalmology.

The courses are designed to be practical and update you on the latest innovations and techniques. ESASO’s programs are known for their high standards and hands-on approach, utilizing state-of-the-art technology and simulation tools.

The best asset is the world-renowned mentors by your side, ready to guide you in your learning process.

2. Alcon Experience Academy

website screenshot from Alcon experience academy

Alcon provides a wide array of educational opportunities in Europe. You can visit their booth at every conference and try out their newest phaco machines and surgical microscopes.

One unique Alcon facility in Europe is the Alcon Experience Center in Barcelona, Spain. It offers comprehensive wetlab training for cataract, glaucoma, and vitreoretinal surgery.

The facility is equipped with the latest surgical technology from Alcon, and courses are led by experienced instructors, ensuring a very high-quality learning experience. Each participant gets access to an online platform with educational content.

alcon screenshot site

3. Balkan Ophthalmic Wetlab Course

Dr Atanas Bogoev at the BOW

The Balkan Ophthalmic Wetlab Course (BOW) provides extensive hands-on courses in ophthalmology. Including anterior segment surgery, refractive surgery, oculoplastics, cataract surgery, glaucoma and retina.

For ophthalmologists seeking advanced cataract surgery training courses, they offer 2 courses - cataract basics and cataract advanced.

Their website offers information on various educational programs and materials designed to enhance surgical skills.

4. MTS (The Wetlab Company)

screenshot from the MTS website

MST offers a wide range of wetlab courses from traumatology to cataract surgery and vitreoretinal surgery.

Their workshops are known for their practical approach, using high-quality instruments and surgical machines to replicate real surgical conditions.

Mentors supervise you throughout each step and give you pointers.

  • Costs: 2600 - 3600 Euro per course

5. Barraquer Center Wetlab and Simulation Lab

website screenshot of Barraquer
offer screenshot

The Barraquer Institute in Barcelona, Spain offers a very innovative ophthalmology wetlab and simulation laboratory for surgery training.

They offer several courses, designed to provide practical skills and in-depth knowledge, facilitated by experienced surgeons and cutting-edge technology.

6. Istanbul Phaco Course

logo Turkish Healthcare Phacoemulsification training course

The Phaco Course in Istanbul offers specialized training in phacoemulsification for cataract surgery, combining hands-on practice, simulation, dry lab, live surgery, and lectures to improve surgical skills.

Participants will gain from theoretical lectures on the latest phacoemulsification techniques, building a strong knowledge base. The course includes phaco simulator sessions for interactive, simulated surgical scenarios, and hands-on practice in dry and wet labs for refining surgical skills.

Spanning 36 hours, the course is in English or French, with a maximum of 10 participants to ensure personalized learning and direct instructor interaction.

The comprehensive fee covers up to five nights of accommodation, all transfers, full course access, educational materials, a course bag, and a certificate of completion. Participants will also enjoy coffee breaks, luncheons, and dinners throughout the intensive training period.

7. HelpMeSee Simulation Lab

Help me see course website

HelpMeSee’s simulation training center, located in France offers cataract surgery training courses. They are focused on providing simulation-based practical surgical experience within the following topics:

  1. MSICS and Complications

  2. Suturing

  3. Phacoemulsification

Utilizing an innovative simulation technology, their programs are designed to improve the skills of surgeons worldwide. The program courses are 1-5 days, with a dedicated mentor.

8. Wetlabs and Drylabs during Ophthalmology Conferences

Welcom Sign at the big hall of the ESCRS 2023 conference in Vienna

Several key ophthalmological conferences also offer wetlab cataract surgery training sessions in Europe:

  • ESCRS (European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons): A leading society in our field, ESCRS conferences often include dry and wet lab courses, providing an opportunity to learn from top experts.

  • EURETINA: Focusing on retinal surgery, EURETINA conferences also feature sessions relevant to cataract surgeons, including wetlabs.

  • EUCORNEA: Specializing in corneal diseases, EUCORNEA offers valuable wetlab experiences for those interested in anterior segment surgery.

  • EGS (European Glaucoma Society): While focused on glaucoma, EGS conferences include cataract surgery wetlabs due to the overlap in surgical techniques.

  • ESOPRS (European Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery): Their conferences offer a broad range of wetlab sessions, including those pertinent to cataract surgery.

In addition to the paid wetlabs, you can visit the industry area and sign up for device previews, to experience many new machines and techniques in dry labs.

Make sure to maximize this opportunity and try to register for these previews either the day before or on the first day of the conference.

  • Costs: Usually between 150 and 500 Euro per course

  • Registration Link: Check individual conference websites

9. Build Your Wetlab at Home

dry lab at home by Dr Atanas Bogoev

For those who prefer to practice independently and at their own pace, I highly recommend you set up your own wetlab at home. This allows for flexible training schedules and repeated practice of techniques, essential for mastering cataract surgery. There are so many things you can practice, starting with coordination skills, suturing, different types of knots, you can move to chop maneuvers, capsulorhexis, floating or pivoting into your incision, IOL folding and loading etc.

The best thing is there are countless videos and articles online on how to set up and start practicing. Try it out, really!

Cataract Surgery Training Courses in Europe: Conclusion

In conclusion, Europe offers numerous opportunities for ophthalmologists. As long as you want to enhance your practical skills in ophthalmic surgery through wetlab, drylab, and simulation courses, there is something for you.

The wetlabs and cataract surgery training courses provide valuable hands-on experience, using advanced technology and mentors to ensure that future surgeons are well-prepared for clinical practice. It's up to you to be proactive and motivated so that you get the best out of them!

Have you taken any awesome courses you think should be included on our list? Feel free to reach out to us via the contact form. We'd love to hear your recommendations!

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