Anesthesia for Eye Surgery

South Shore Anesthesia Associates provides anesthesia services for ophthalmologic surgery (cataracts and plastic eye surgery) at both the South Shore Hospital Outpatient Center in Weymouth and at the Boston University Eye Associates Center in Raynham. Our goal is to make your cataract surgery a pleasant and pain-free experience.

Cataract surgery is a pain-free experience thanks to advances in anesthesia. Our patients are lightly sedated during the surgery and are able to resume normal activities shortly afterwards. During the relatively quick procedure, the anesthesiologist and nurse anesthetist (CRNA) attend to your needs.

Two types of anesthesia are used to keep our patients comfortable and pain-free during surgery: topical and regional anesthesia.

Topical, or “Eye Drop” Anesthesia involves the use of eye drops to anesthetize (numb) the eye allowing patients to have a painless cataract procedure.

Regional, or “Eye Block” Anesthesia is the administration of a local anesthetic (i.e. “Novocain”) to numb the nerves around the eye. The eye block eliminates all feeling and movement in the region of the eye. The eye block usually involves one or two quick injections near the eye after the patient is sedated or is momentarily under the effects of a general anesthetic. Regional anesthesia gradually wears off over the course of a day. As it does, the function of the eye is restored.

Each form of anesthetic has its advantages. Your ophthalmologist may prefer one technique over the other. Rarely there are medical issues which may favor one particular type of anesthesia; in such cases, your ophthalmologist and anesthesiologist will consider your individual needs and select the form of anesthesia that is best for you.

After surgery, you will make a brief stay in our recovery area. A nurse will monitor you while you have something to drink.

For further questions regarding anesthesia for eye surgery, see the Eye Surgery FAQ page.

For further information regarding anesthesia for eye surgery, please consult the link below. Keep in mind that practices vary from hospital to hospital and these sites contain general information and should not be relied upon for specific instruction. For example, general anesthesia is rarely required for outpatient eye surgery.