At present, there are many commercially available eye models that can be used to explain surgical procedures to patients preoperatively. Because these eye models are made of hard materials, it is difficult to explain surgical procedures such as creating a corneal flap during laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK), various glaucoma surgery procedures, scleral buckling for retinal detachment surgery, and others. At the Hara Eye Hospital, we have designed and made a flexible eye model (Figure 1) to facilitate explanations. The model is made of silicone and is 10 times larger than a human eye. (It was easy to calculate each part of the eye model at the protocol stage.) The model can be washed with a cleanser and water.
Using this model, we can demonstrate the following surgical procedures and ocular pathologies, all of which are difficult with the currently available hard eye models: (1) creation of a corneal flap during LASIK and epi-LASIK (Figure 2); (2) continuous curvilinear capsulorhexis and in-the-bag intraocular lens implantation (Figure 3); (3) postoperative posterior capsule opacification (PCO); (4) neodymium:YAG laser capsulotomy for PCO; (5) creation of a conjunctival flap, lamellar scleral flap, intrascleral block removal, and peripheral iridectomy in trabeculectomy (Figure 4); (6) ab externo and ab interno trabeculotomy; (7) mechanism of filtering bleb formation and the meaning of suture lysis after glaucoma surgery; (8) mechanism of retinal tears and retinal detachment caused by vitreous traction; (9) scleral buckling in retinal detachment surgery (Figure 5); (10) epiretinal membranes and their origin, the mechanism of metamorphopsia, and the surgical procedure.
Although the eye model is in the protocol stage and must be refined (eg, the conjunctiva, sclera, and retina should be more realistic), it has been more useful in providing presurgical explanations of modern surgical procedures and ocular pathologies than the currently available hard eye models.