Skip to main content


The Vital Role of Anesthesiologists in Eye Surgery

By: Roger M. Kaldawy, M.D.
Milford Franklin Eye Center

In the realm of surgical procedures, eye surgeries stand out for their delicacy and precision. From cataract removals to glaucoma procedures, these surgeries require meticulous attention to detail and specialized care. Among the crucial team members in the operating room, anesthesiologists play a vital role in ensuring the safety and comfort of patients undergoing eye surgery.

During eye surgery, patients often need to remain still and relaxed, which can be challenging, especially when they are conscious. This is where the expertise of anesthesiologists becomes indispensable. Anesthesiologists are trained professionals who specialize in administering anesthesia and monitoring patients’ vital signs throughout the surgical process. By carefully selecting and administering the appropriate type and dosage of anesthesia, they ensure that patients are adequately sedated, pain-free, and stable during the procedure.

One of the primary concerns during eye surgery is maintaining optimal conditions for the surgeon to work effectively. Any sudden movement or reflex from the patient could compromise the precision of the procedure and potentially lead to complications. Anesthesiologists play a crucial role in achieving and maintaining the desired level of sedation or anesthesia, keeping the patient still and comfortable throughout the surgery.

Moreover, certain eye surgeries, such as retinal detachment repair or corneal transplantation, may require the patient to be completely still for an extended period. In such cases, the expertise of anesthesiologists in administering regional anesthesia techniques like retrobulbar or peribulbar blocks can be invaluable. These techniques involve injecting anesthetic agents around the eye to numb the surrounding area while keeping the patient awake but pain-free. By effectively blocking the sensation of pain and minimizing involuntary movements, anesthesiologists facilitate a smooth and successful surgical outcome.

Additionally, anesthesiologists play a crucial role in managing patients with pre-existing medical conditions or factors that may increase the risks associated with anesthesia, such as cardiovascular diseases, chronic pulmonary conditions, diabetes, or allergies. Through comprehensive preoperative assessments and personalized anesthesia plans, they ensure that patients receive safe and optimal care tailored to their individual needs.

You can easily conclude that the presence of anesthesiologists in the operating room is essential for the success and safety of eye surgeries. Their expertise in administering anesthesia, monitoring patients’ vital signs, and managing anesthesia-related complications is instrumental in ensuring a smooth and comfortable surgical experience. Unfortunately, some practices are advocating for performing cataract surgery in their office. Unapproved by Medicare and major ophthalmology professional societies, this office-based surgery is based on giving you the patient a sedative pill by mouth and then they want you to be going to surgery with just that.  No IV line in case of an emergency, no anesthesia presence, and the surgeon who is overwhelmingly busy operating on your eye will be the only physician in the room.  Furthermore, if the sedative pill is not enough to keep you sedated or comfortable, there is nothing else they can do to relieve your anxiety and make you comfortable because you have no IV line. This raises significant concerns about patient safety and comfort. Furthermore, performing cataract surgery in an office setting may lack the rigorous standards, staff training and sterile environments maintained in dedicated surgical centers. The absence of dedicated anesthesia professionals and comprehensive medical support can compromise patient comfort and safety during surgery. Patients are advised to prioritize their well-being and consider established surgical centers with experienced medical teams and top-notch facilities to ensure optimal outcomes for cataract surgery. You should always ask “Will an anesthesiologist be present during my surgery?” and “What do you do to make me comfortable if the pill you gave me outside the surgery room is not enough”?  At the Cataract Surgery Center of Milford, a dedicated MD anesthesiologist is present full-time for all procedures, no exception, and your comfort and safety are titrated by using an IV line, which is lacking in the office-based surgery model.

As advancements in surgical techniques continue to evolve, the collaboration between surgeons and anesthesiologists remains paramount in achieving the best possible outcomes for patients undergoing eye surgery. At Milford Franklin Eye Center and The Cataract Surgery Center of Milford, our focus is on you, your vision, excellent surgical results without compromising your safety or comfort. You come first. We are available in your backyard and proud to offer world-class cataract surgery closer to home: Here in Milford! In an accredited and licensed surgery center facility, not in an office. Four decades serving our communities and going strong. 

For more details, see our ad on this page.

Sponsored articles are submitted by our advertisers. The advertiser is solely responsible for the content of this article.