Background: Vitreoretinal (VR) surgery has been increasingly performed under local anaesthesia (LA) in this unit. The results of an audit monitoring this change are presented.
Methods: Data were collected on 1497 patients including type, volume, and position of the anaesthetic block, type of surgery, complications, and patient reactions.
Results: 1221/1479 (82%) patients had LA. They were older than those having general anaesthesia (GA) 63.5 years v 45.9 years; 146 (10.6%) blocks were intracone, 130 (10.6%) peribulbar, and 927 (75.9%) combined. Operations included 436 vitrectomies, 545 retinopexy with or without vitrectomy, and 238 buckling procedures. Some pain was felt by 9.4%, 8.8%, and 19.7% of patients during vitrectomy, retinopexy with or without vitrectomy, and buckling surgery respectively.
Conclusion: Local anaesthesia for VR surgery is well tolerated by patients, being effective throughout longer and more stimulating ocular surgery.