Ocular Anaesthesiology Unit
Modern surgical ophthalmology needs the valuable assistance of anaesthesiology to perform eye operations with optimum conditions of comfort for the patient.
The Unit is led by Dr Montserrat Murillo with the assistance of the following anaesthesiologists: Dr Ferran Manen, Dr Carlos Gil, Dr Manuel Velaure, Dr Marta López and Dr Mercè Fossas. They all have extensive experience in ophthalmic and paediatric anaesthesia.
The anaesthesiologist is responsible for ensuring that the patient is comfortable and does not feel pain during the operation. The patient is clinically monitored using the latest monitoring equipment that tell us the patient's vital signs at all times.
We currently have specific drugs that provide an adequate depth of anaesthesia due to their accuracy and duration of action.
The most common anaesthetic techniques used in ophthalmic surgery are:
- Topical Anaesthesia (eye drops), very common for minor operations and many cases of cataract phacoemulsification. It is always used in association with sedation. Thanks to this technique, ocular and visual recovery is very fast. The eye can even leave the operating theatre uncovered.
- Loco-regional Anaesthesia (retrobulbar or peribulbar), the administration of local anaesthetic around the eyeball. This is also used in association with sedation, achieving no pain and relaxation while remaining conscious. It is suitable for some cases of cataract phacoemulsification and for most vitreoretinal surgery, glaucoma surgery, cornea transplants, etc. Ocular recovery takes a few hours, until the effect of the anaesthesia used has worn off, during which time the eye must remain covered.
- General Anaesthesia, used in very few cases of adult patients, although it is compulsory in children.
- A special case is the use of Paediatric Anaesthesia, with which our centre has vast experience. The administration of inhaled anaesthetics in children rapidly produces stable unconsciousness. The child is kept unconscious using the Laryngeal Mask Airway, a gentle device that avoids endotracheal intubation. A few minutes after completing the operation, the child wakes up calmly and pain-free. The child will stay at the centre with his/her parents until we are sure he/she can return home safely.