Local anaesthesia for vitreoretinal surgery: An audit of patient and surgical experience

H .M. L. Knight, R. B. Newsom, C. R. Canning, A. J. Luff, A. C. Wainwright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Local anaesthesia for vitreoretinal surgery is little used as these procedures are deemed to be too long and uncomfortable for patients to tolerate. In this unit anterior intraconal local anaesthesia is used for most routine surgery. We undertook an audit to ensure that surgical standards and patient acceptability were not compromised.

Methods: A prospective observational audit was performed. Audit data included: Grade of anaesthetist and surgeon; details of anaesthetic and operation; compliance of patient; operating conditions and pain scores. Anaesthesia was provided with a combined peribulbar and intraconal anaesthetic, using bicarbonate buffered lignocaine and bupivacaine 50:50 mixture.

Results: 135 (76%) had local anaesthesia alone, 13 (7%) had local anaesthesia with sedation and 29 (16%) had general anaesthesia. 96.4% of patients were compliant and 98.8% of operating conditions were good or excellent. The mean perioperative pain score was 0.1 (range of 0–1), 97% said they would choose local anaesthesia again.

Conclusions: LA for vitreoretinal surgery is a useful and flexible method of anaesthesia, which has been shown to have excellent patient tolerance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-371
JournalEuropean Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2001


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