Experience RGW

RGW Doctors Teach Military Ophthalmology Residents Trauma
Management/Surgery in Ocular Trauma Course

Posted in Announcements

Military ophthalmology residents from the D.C. area, around the country and from as far away as Switzerland all share one experience; they have learned the basics of trauma management and surgery from the U.S. Military Ocular Trauma Course taught by a number of instructors, including several Retina Group of Washington doctors.

This year’s course–presented May 21-25 at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md.–included sessions on Facial Plastics (ocular injuries), Corneal Injuries, Retinal Injuries & Management and Blast Injuries.  It is believed to be the only program of its kind offered anywhere in the world and has for the past 30+ years attracted thousands of military doctors and civilians, teaching them about ocular trauma surgery which many believe to be the most challenging of all surgeries in the field.

According to RGW’s Dr. Gordon Byrnes, who is joined by the practice’s Alex Melamud, Josh Levinson and Fellow Musa Abdelaziz in helping to plan the curriculum and teaching the course, advancements in technology now allow surgeons to use smaller and more effective instruments in performing vitrectomies to remove the internal tissues of the eye in trauma.  He explains that while ocular trauma can lead to severe vision loss, proper early treatment maximizes a patient’s readiness for surgery and can often result in a higher quality of life for those sustaining wartime injuries.

The course incorporated both lectures and lab sessions, with the latter featuring the use of a surgery simulator prototype that was initially designed to incorporate the eyeball, eyelid and eye socket trauma.  It has since been expanded to include facial and jaw injuries, and early prototypes of such critical ocular injuries as corneal lacerations are now in development.  

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