It depends. This depends on the type of surgery. Many eye surgeries such as lasik and cataract surgery only use topical drops for anesthesia. Sometimes the topical drops are supplemented with mild sedation from IV medication or oral sedatives. Other eye surgeries such as retinal surgeries will have a local anesthesia with an injection around the eye. In rare cases we will use general anesthesia.
Topical, sedation. Usually topical drops, and anesthetic inside the eye at the time of surgery are all that is needed. If a patient is anxious, I.V. Sedation is administered by a nurse anesthetist or ansethesiologist. In extreme cases, where the patient cannot lay still for surgery or for infants and children, general anesthesia is used.
It varies! In many cases, the ophthalmologist will use drops to numb the eye, and the patient will receive sedation with drugs such as Midazolam and fentanyl. If a needle is used to give local anesthesia (retrobulbar block), the anesthesiologist may use Propofol to provide a brief period of sleep while the block goes in. For major eye surgeries, general anesthesia is necessary sometimes.
Topical or local . Eye drops to numb the eye can be used as well as local blocks around the eye are typical. You will feel some pressure during the surgery with topical drops and should feel nothing with local blocks.
Drops and versed. Retrobulbar blocks are still popular among many surgeons, however most of my patients receive topical anesthetic drops and some IV sedation with versed. This is becoming a preferred practice for many physicians, though i would never argue with a physician who felt a retrobulbar block was needed.
Retrobulbar block. A retrobulbar block, where local anesthesia is injected behind the eye is a possibility. Some sedation is also usually given.
Depends on... ... The surgery. If you are talking about cataract/lens surgery, mild I.V. Sedation ("twilight") with topical anesthetic eye drops are all that is necessary. For laser vision correction, there is usually topical anesthetic as well as occasional oral sedatives (valium, ativan, (lorazepam) xanax).
Usually topical . Tetracaine or proparacaine drops or Lidocaine jelly. During cataract surgery, Lidocaine is sometimes injected in the eye. During some deeper retinal surgeries, Lidocaine and/or Marcaine are some injected behind the eye (retro bulbar). Many times, intravenous sedation is also given by the anesthesiologist (like Propofol or others). General anesthesia is very occasionally used. Read more...