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Chhaya, Nisarg, BS*; Helmy, Omar, MD*; Piri, Niloofar, MD; Palacio, Agustina, MD‡,§; Schaal, Shlomit, MD, PhD*

doi: 10.1097/IAE.0000000000001743
Original Study

Purpose: To compare medical students' learning uptake and understanding of vitreoretinal surgeries by watching either 2D or 3D video recordings.

Methods: Three vitreoretinal procedures (tractional retinal detachment, exposed scleral buckle removal, and four-point scleral fixation of an intraocular lens [TSS]) were recorded simultaneously with a conventional recorder for two-dimensional viewing and a VERION 3D HD system using Sony HVO-1000MD for three-dimensional viewing. Two videos of each surgery, one 2D and the other 3D, were edited to have the same content side by side. One hundred UMass medical students randomly assigned to a 2D group or 3D, then watched corresponding videos on a MacBook. All groups wore BiAL Red-blue 3D glasses and were appropriately randomized. Students filled out questionnaires about surgical steps or anatomical relationships of the pathologies or tissues, and their answers were compared.

Results: There was no significant difference in comprehension between the two groups for the extraocular scleral buckle procedure. However, for the intraocular TSS and tractional retinal detachment videos, the 3D group performed better than 2D (P < 0.05) on anatomy comprehension questions.

Conclusion: Three-dimensional videos may have value in teaching intraocular ophthalmic surgeries. Surgical procedure steps and basic ocular anatomy may have to be reviewed to ensure maximal teaching efficacy.

Three-dimensional technology has paved the way to better understand the intricacies of surgery and may have value in teaching intraocular ophthalmic surgeries to medical students. An understanding of the surgical steps and basic eye anatomy may be required to fully appreciate the utility of 3D technology.

*Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Worcester, Massachusetts;

Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky;

Ophthalmic Consultants, Buenos Aires, Argentina; and

§The Fernández Hospital, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Reprint requests: Shlomit Schaal, MD, PhD, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, University of Massachusetts, 281 Lincoln Street, Worcester, MA 01605; e-mail:

None of the authors has any financial/conflicting interests to disclose.

© 2018 by Ophthalmic Communications Society, Inc.