Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC)

Monitored anesthesia care (MAC) is a technique that minimizes pain and anxiety during surgical procedures. With MAC, you are not fully sedated as you would be under general anesthesia. This technique, although common for other types of surgery, is rarely used for eye surgery and usually requires surgery to be performed in the main hospital operating rooms rather than the outpatient surgical suites of the Eye Care Centre.

The anesthesiologist will administer intravenous (IV) medication in your arm or hand. You will probably be in a light, sleeplike state and may wake up occasionally during the surgery. You will breathe on your own and will not need the help of a ventilator. The anesthesiologist will monitor you just as if you were undergoing general anesthesia, checking your vital signs, maintaining your airway, and continually evaluating your vital functions.

After MAC, you may not remember any of the procedure, and you may experience headache, nausea, and vomiting. You will be monitored closely immediately following your procedure. Depending on your doctor’s instructions, you may stay in the hospital overnight for close monitoring or you may be discharged. If you are released the day of the procedure, you should not drive, operate dangerous equipment, make any major decisions, or sign any legal documents for a day afterward.

(c) 2009 Robert M Schertzer, MD, MEd, FRCSC based on 2007 The American Academy of Ophthalmology

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This post was written by Rob Schertzer