The control system is programmable by the user by inserting a preprogrammed key into the system console. The key changes the default values normally used by the control system to those values selected by a particular surgeon. The control console thus emulates the performance characteristics of a wide variety of different types of microsurgical control systems, leaving the surgeon free to perform the operation without having to adjust to a new or unfamiliar system. The display screen is self-illuminating and provides a plurality of control menus generated by data stored in computer memory circuits. By bank switching the memory circuits, the display can be caused to appear in a wide variety of different languages.