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Eye and Vision Care

Cataract Surgery

05/05/2009

Question:

My doctor wants to schedule cataract surgery but he can`t answer my questions relating to anesthesia. First, I cannot tolerate versed (PONV for hours) and I dont want to be a walking zombie. If you`re supposed to be awake during the cataract surgery, why bother with sedation? Telling patients they are being given versed with fentanyl to relax them is a joke - the informed patient wants to be a part of what is happening and not slurring his words which he wont remember. Finally, he said whatever the anesthesiologist and I agreed on was fine with him - BUT HE DIDNT KNOW WHAT THAT WAS!!!! The anesthesiologist is away for two weeks and someone - Pubmed, internet - must have a clue as to why sedation is needed. Please try to help me. Thank you.

Answer:

You raise some valid questions and concerns that should be resolved prior to your surgery. Unfortunately I can not give you a very satisfying answer. Anesthesia/sedation determinations need to be worked out on a case-by-case basis between the patient, the surgeon, and the anesthesiologist.

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Response by:

Andrew J Toole, OD, PhD, FAAO
Clinical Assistant Professor of Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University