Approximately 300 students of a medical institute in Russia received a live telecast of two cataract surgeries performed in Chennai on Thursday.

The students of the Helmholtz Moscow Research Institute of Eye Diseases saw the surgeries performed by K. Vasantha, director of the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology & Government Ophthalmic Hospital (RIOGOH), on a 57-year-old and a 63-year-old female, making an incision of 1.8 mm to remove the cataract with minimal scars.

The special feature of this surgery is that there were no sutures involved and the procedure was treated as an out patient one. “The patient can be discharged soon after the procedure. The vision will be restored to near normalcy the next day,” said Dr. Vasantha.

Earlier, cataract surgeries were performed with a 7-mm incision which led to a recovery of six weeks before eyesight was completely restored. However, now with the foldable lenses, which will cost Rs. 8000, the patient can be discharged the next day.

On the same day, a wet lab was inaugurated at the RIOGOH for the use of the surgical students at the college.

Appasamy association donated a piece of equipment worth Rs. 7.5 lakh, named Phacoemulsifier, which will give practical experience to students in removing cataracts from goats’ eyes. “The surgical students practice sutures and other procedures on a goat’s eye until they gain the confidence to practice on the human eye,” said Dr. Vasantha.

“Cataract surgeries are done daily at the Government Ophthalmic Hospital. Now, with the help of the Chief Minister Health Insurance Scheme, we are trying to purchase the lenses in bulk and negotiate the prices to make the surgeries free for all patients,” said V. Kanagasabai, dean of the Rajiv Gandhi General Government Hospital.

More In: Chennai