Regional anesthesia is a type of procedure that eliminates the pain associated with eye surgery.
Instead of undergoing general anesthesia and being unconscious for your surgery, your eye is numbed with eyedrops and your ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) gives you an injection that often immobilizes your eye as well as blocks any pain associated with your surgical procedure. Another very common option is performing the surgery using only topical anesthesia, which can also be augmented with subtenon’s infusion of additional anesthetic agent.
By using regional anesthesia, your ophthalmologist ensures that you are as comfortable as possible during and following surgery. Since you will not be put to sleep using general anesthesia, your recovery time after surgery will be much quicker, and you will be able to go home the same day. Also, you may not experience some of the potential side effects of general anesthesia, such as nausea and vomiting.
Though very safe, there are some risks associated with regional anesthesia, as there are with most medical procedures. These risks are due to the anesthetic, as well as to the injection procedure itself. These risks include hemorrhage in the eye socket, perforation of the eyeball, and damage to the optic nerve. Should you experience any complications due to this procedure, it is possible that your doctor will have to cancel and reschedule your surgery.
(c) 2009 Robert M Schertzer MD, MEd, FRCSC based on 2007 The American Academy of Ophthalmology
This post was written by Rob Schertzer