UCSF ophthalmologists complete overseas training in small incision cataract surgery (SICS)

September 29, 2023

This July, Neeti Parikh, MD, and Madeline Yung, MD, traveled to Kathmandu, Nepal to complete SICS training at the world-renowned Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology.

Under the tutelage of their Tilganga mentors – including Shyam Vyas, MD; Keepa Vaidya, MD; Anu Manandhar, MBBS, MD; and Tilganga CEO Reeta Gurung, MSc, MD – Parikh and Yung hope to provide safer and more tailored surgical care to cataract patients.

For Parikh and Yung, SICS holds tremendous potential for patients with dense cataract. Compared to patients with mild to moderate cataract, those with dense cataract are at increased risk for adverse outcomes following phacoemulsification, the “gold standard” cataract surgery in the U.S. For these patients, SICS may offer a safer, more tailored alternative – with comparable outcomes.

“I’ve never had a patient [whose cataract] I couldn’t phaco,” says Yung. “When all you have is a hammer, you tend to treat everything like a nail. But if you have many different tools, you can be much more nuanced and detailed in choosing the best technique.”

Supported by the UCSF Faculty Learning and Development Fund, Parikh and Yung hope to train their American colleagues in the SICS technique and implement its use at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.

“I learned so much from just speaking to people from different health systems and cultures,” says Parikh. “Overall, this has been an excellent, excellent experience.”

Yung adds, “The way that things are done in the U.S. isn’t necessarily the gold standard… It’s important to take the mind of a learner, to stay humble, and to really try to view everyone that you meet as someone that you could potentially learn something interesting and lasting from.”

Pictured above:

At the SICS Certificate Ceremony. From left: Shyam Vyas, MD, Parikh, Yung, Tilganga PR Officer Dinesh Pokharel, Keepa Vaidya, MD, and Tilganga Sr. PR Officer Sunita KC