Spring-action Apparatus for Fixation of Eyeball (SAFE): a novel, cost-effective yet simple device for ophthalmic wet-lab training

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Achieving a formed and firm eyeball which is stably fixed in a holding device is a major challenge of surgical wet-lab training. Our innovation, the ‘Spring-action Apparatus for Fixation of Eyeball (SAFE)’ is a robust, simple and economical device to solve this problem. It consists of a hollow iron cylinder to which a spring-action syringe is attached. The spring-action syringe generates vacuum and enables reliable fixation of a human or animal cadaveric eye on the iron cylinder. The rise in intraocular pressure due to vacuum fixation can be varied as per need or nature of surgery being practised. A mask-fixed version of this device is also designed to train surgeons for appropriate hand positioning. An experienced surgeon performed various surgeries including manual small incision cataract surgery (MSICS), phacoemulsification, laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK), femtosecond LASIK docking, Descemet's stripping endothelial keratoplasty, deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty, penetrating keratoplasty and trabeculectomy on this device, while a trainee surgeon practised MSICS and wound suturing. Skill-appropriate comfort level was much higher with SAFE than with conventional globe holders for both surgeons. Due to its stability, pressure adjustability, portability, cost-efficiency and simplicity, we recommend SAFE as the basic equipment for every wet lab.

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