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Cover Focus | Jan 2022

Top Phaco Saves

Judges’ Rubric

A closer look at the scoring criteria.


Difficulty of Case

  • 5 = Extreme difficulty; 1 = Routine difficulty

Management Strategy and Final Outcome

  • 5 = Excellent technique and outcome; 1 = Poor technique and outcome


Audio Quality

  • 5 = Video is well planned with smooth transitions and edits; 1 = Video is not well planned and has poor edits

Visual Quality

  • 5 = Sound is expertly balanced and easy to hear, and sound and visual elements coincide with the video’s message; 1 = Sound is of poor quality, and visual elements distract from the video’s message


Creative Approach to Holding Audience Attention

  • 5 = Video is intriguing and holds viewers’ attention; 1 = Video does not hold viewers’ attention

Artistic Merit

  • 5 = Video is original, creative, and unique and provides an excellent explanation of the case presentation and surgical strategy, and the viewer is left with a strong understanding of the topic; 1 = Video has little originality, is unclear, and provides a poor explanation of the case presentation and surgical strategy, and the viewer is left with little to no understanding of the topic

To visit the Phaco Saves Video Contest page on Eyetube and watch all top 10 videos, click here.

The Judges

Ashvin Agarwal, MS
  • Executive Director and Chief of Clinical Services, Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Hospital, Chennai, India
  • Member, CRST Europe Global Advisory Board
  • agarwal.ashvin@gmail.com

Favorite video: How Could This Happen? by Ahmad Assaf, MD

Reason: Each step of the procedure was completed with the right flow. The video reminds us that, although many things may happen that are untoward during surgery, there is always a safe method to complete the case.

Roberto Bellucci, MD, FEBOS-CR

Favorite video: IOL Exchange With a Small-Incision Scleral-Fixated IOL, by Ma’an Albarry, MD, FRCS

Reason: I selected this video for its surgical, didactic, and artistic merit. The maneuvers are clear for the viewer to understand and replicate; the clips follow each other with perfect rhythm; and the music adds an impression of efficiency, enthusiasm, and success.

Sheetal Brar, MBBS, MS, FPRS, FC

Favorite video: Surgical Pearls for Ectopia Lentis, by D. Brian Kim, MD

Reason: The video included excellent, detailed, and clear explanations of all the surgical steps for management of a complex case of ectopia lentis, and the quality of the video is great too.

Cristos Ifantides, MD, MBA

Favorite video: A Disaster of My Own Making, by Steven Safran, MD

Reason: This difficult case includes a lot of learning points with the use of many different devices. It showcases the good management of iatrogenic complications. The video quality is good enough to see every step clearly, and the editing and narration are excellent. Overall, this was a difficult case that was handled well—a definite Phaco Save.

Scott LaBorwit, MD
  • Assistant Professor, Part-Time Faculty, The Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
  • Founder, Select Eye Care, Towson, Maryland
  • sel104@me.com

Favorite video: When All Hell Breaks Loose: Zonular Dialysis and the Placement of a Synergy IOL, by Shannon Wong, MD

Reason: The case continued to unfold with complications in the setting of a high-stakes expectation to place a presbyopia-correcting IOL. Dr. Wong provided great stepwise logic and decision making with clear explanations of the maneuvers. There was great video editing to clarify points but nothing over the top to distract the viewer from the case. Additionally, the surgeon achieved a perfect outcome.

Ben LaHood, MD, MBChB(dist), PGDipOphth(dist), FRANZCO
  • Cataract and refractive surgeon, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Adelaide, Australia, and Ashford Advanced Eye Care, Adelaide, Australia
  • benlahood@gmail.com

Favorite video: How Could This Happen? by Ahmad Assaf, MD

Reason: White, intumescent cataracts can be difficult to manage, but this situation looked manageable after watching the video. The narration is clear and concise with a great explanation of the decision-making processes and techniques. Most importantly, this video is not simply showing an anterior segment procedure but rather a true Phaco Save, which is what the competition was all about. Great video production and entertaining to watch.

Maria S. Romero, MD

Favorite video: A Disaster of My Own Making, by Steven Safran, MD

Reason: Sometimes, perfect is the enemy of good. This was a challenging case from the start, and the surgeon handled it well. I like how he educates the viewer about the difference between iris and capsular hooks and clearly explains the steps of how to insert the modified capsular tension ring.