• Can I have general anesthesia for corneal ulcer?


    Question:

    I am a 35-year-old female and need corneal ulcer (open sore on front of eye) repair. I have severe anxiety and had to be put under for my C-section. Can I have general anesthesia (being "put under” or to sleep) for this type of eye surgery?


    Answer:

    Most eye surgery is are done under Monitored Anesthesia Care or "twilight sedation.” An anesthesiologist typically gives sedating and pain-relieving medication through a vein which causes patients to drift in and out of consciousness while continuing to breathe on their own. General anesthesia is rarer for eye procedures because it comes with additional risks and deep sedation is usually not necessary. But there are exceptions where it is the safer option (generally for patients with heart or lung problems).

    For patients with anxiety, the anesthesiologist may be able to keep them sedated enough with twilight sedation as long as their vital signs allow it. You should discuss your concerns with your ophthalmologist and anesthesiologist to see if general or twilight sedation is the safer option for you.


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