Tube shunt surgery in pig eyes: A wet lab teaching model

Document Type





Objective: To describe a teaching model for aqueous tube shunt surgery using freshly enucleated pig eyes.
Design: A descriptive methods report, containing a small prospective noncomparative interventional case series.
Participants: Six ophthalmology residents from the University of Alberta program.
Methods: A descriptive report outlines the materials and methods required for creating a surgical wet lab that teaches aqueous draining device implantation. Residents practiced each step associated with the insertion of plated aqueous tube shunt devices in porcine eyes.
Results: The porcine model worked well to demonstrate and perform steps associated with tube implant surgery. Trainee comfort improved in all surgical steps practiced during the session when reassessed at 3-month follow-up: priming and anchoring the drainage device (p = 0.042), inserting the tube into the eye (p = 0.025), creating and securing a scleral patch graft (p = 0.034), and closure of the conjunctiva (p = 0.034). Overall confidence in performing tube shunt surgery also remained above baseline at follow-up (p = 0.042).
Conclusions: Implantation of tube shunt devices in the porcine model closely resembles surgery in human eyes. Practicing each step associated with tube shunt surgery on porcine eyes in a supervised wet-lab environment improves trainee confidence in the procedure.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology