Are You Awake for Retinal Surgery?

The retina is an extremely thin layer of tissue that lines the inside back of the eye and has been compared to the film in a camera. Light from objects that we view enters the eye and is focused onto the cornea and the lens. The retina then sends those images to the brain via the optic nerve. When there is a problem with the retina, retinal surgery can often help repair the issue. Depending on the retinal issue, retinal surgery can often preserve vision or prevent vision loss if given in a timely fashion.

A common concern among retinal patients is whether they will be awake during their retinal surgery. Most retinal surgery is performed while you are awake. Retinal surgery is usually painless and performed while you remain awake and comfortable. Advances in technology have decreased the length of surgery making outpatient eye surgery possible.

Before the procedure begins, you will be given anesthetic eye drops that numb the eyes. This will help reduce discomfort during the operation. Then, an instrument will be used to keep your eyes open so you do not have to worry about blinking throughout the procedure.

Many patients fear that being awake means that they will feel everything that is happening and that makes them squeamish when they think about eye surgery. Rest assured that you will feel nothing more than a light pressure on your eye if you feel anything at all. In addition to the numbing eye drops, you will be given a mild oral sedation, so although awake, you will feel relaxed.

Techniques and technology have nearly eliminated the need for general anesthesia. Thanks to advanced surgical approaches, smaller, more precise tools, and improved drugs, retinal surgery today is less painful, less invasive and more efficient.

There are, however, procedures, patients and even circumstances during surgery that ultimately require general anesthesia. Additionally, patients who cannot lay still or those who are exceptionally anxious are candidates for general anesthesia.

To learn more about retinal surgery in Phoenix, contact Associated Retina Consultants today at 602-242-4928 or associatedretinaconsultants.com.

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