Stress and Phacosurgeon: An Unavoidable Association
Purpose: To study the physical symptoms of stress and its association with surgical experience in a surgeon performing phacoemulsification.
Study design: An analytical study.
Place and Duration of Study: Multi center study in different parts of the city Karachi, Pakistan from May 2016 to September 2016.
Material and Methods: Different phaco surgeons were requested to fill in a questionnaire which described the physical symptoms of stress such as headache, dry mouth, palpitations etc which one experiences while doing phacoemulsification surgery and also inquired about the surgical experience. The surgeons were all qualified ophthalmologists categorized into three groups based on their surgical experiences and the stress level. They were classified as low, moderate and high based on number of physical symptoms and the association between experience and stress level was analyzed.
Results: A total 25 phaco surgeons filled the questionnaire. There were 22 males and 3 females. Category A with less than 5 years working experience were 9 (36%) in number while there were 6 (24.0%) in category B (6 – 14 years working experience) and 10 (40.0%) in category C (more than 15 years working experience). Stress level was found to be the highest in 6 – 14 years working experience 3 (12.0%).
Conclusions: Phacoemulsification has a steep learning curve and an ophthalmologist experiences a high level of stress during the learning phase as well as afterwards.
Keywords: Phacoemulsification, Physical symptoms, stress, ophthalmologist.