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Anesthesia for elective eye surgery

Alvaro A Macias, MD
Joseph Bayes, MD
Kathryn E McGoldrick, MD, FCAI(Hon)
Section Editor
Girish P Joshi, MB, BS, MD, FFARCSI
Deputy Editor
Nancy A Nussmeier, MD, FAHA


The goals of anesthetic care during elective eye surgery are pain-free surgery, facilitation of the surgical procedure, rapid recovery, and minimization of risks associated with surgery and anesthesia.

This topic reviews the techniques for providing analgesia, sedation, or anesthesia during cataract, glaucoma, and vitreoretinal surgery. Other aspects of surgical management of these conditions are discussed separately. (See "Cataract in adults", section on 'Treatment' and "Open-angle glaucoma: Treatment", section on 'Types of therapy' and "Angle-closure glaucoma", section on 'Management' and "Retinal detachment", section on 'Treatment'.)


Cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures requiring anesthetic care [1].

Preoperative consultation — The preoperative medical evaluation is reviewed in detail elsewhere, including preoperative testing, evaluation of comorbid conditions, and perioperative decisions regarding chronically administered medications. (See "Cataract in adults", section on 'Preoperative medical evaluation'.)

Consultation for anesthetic management emphasizes the following additional considerations [2]:

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Mar 13, 2017.
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