Patient Communication During Eye Surgery
All patients benefit from a preoperative discussion of the surgical experience, especially those with hearing loss and those who speak a language different from the surgical team. For patients with bilateral hearing aids, the ipsilateral hearing aid often is removed to avoid the risk of water damage during surgery. Patients may wear their hearing aid in the ear contralateral to the eye being treated to allow communication. Moreover, the ipsilateral hearing aid can remain in place if it is covered carefully by multiple layers of occlusive dressing. The surgeon, anesthetist, and patient can determine how best to communicate in the operating room. Simple hand signals between the patient and the anesthetist can be effective. If the patient is very anxious and cannot communicate adequately, general anesthesia could be considered instead of topical or local anesthesia. However, light sedation combined with peribulbar or retrobulbar block often can allow for a safe procedure with decreased risk of postoperative delirium.
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 11 - Lens and Cataract. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.