Anaesthesia For Cataract Replacement
Cataract replacement is usually done under a local anaesthetic. This is the most common method and has fewer risks and side effects than a general anaesthetic. Surgery of the cornea, such as laser surgery or removal of pterygiums or other lesions, can also be done using a local anaesthetic.
In general there are only two types of anaesthesia used for cataract surgery.
Local Anaesthesia: Local anaesthetic gel or drops are applied to the eye’s surface before and during the operation
Eye Block: This is when the anaesthetist injects local anaesthetic around the eye. Prior to the injection you will often receive some medication to relax you and reduce your memory of the event as well as some local anaesthetic drops onto the eye itself. There may be some minimal discomfort associated with this injection, but most patients will have no recollection of this later.
The local anaesthetic removes pain sensation but it is very common to still be aware of touching around your eye during surgery. This is normal and should not be cause for any concern. The local anaesthetic may also numb your forehead or teeth and gums. It will wear off over several hours but may even last overnight.