Unfortunately, anxiety is an extremely common reason why patients delay cataract surgery.
Dr. Elkins discusses his approach to ensuring that patients have a successful and comfortable experience.
I see countless patients who are "scared to death" of having cataract surgery fearing that they will have pain or see instruments coming at them or going blind.
I find it so sad because in reality, the surgery is simply a miracle!
“99% of patients find the procedure to MUCH easier than they think”
Cataract surgery is painless. I use anesthetic drops and an anesthetic gel that completely numbs the eye. Furthermore, there's a board certified anesthesiologist monitoring the patient throughout the short 10-15 minute procedure. Going to the operating room for any procedure is definitely scary, but the biggest advantage of doing the procedure in the operating room is that anesthesia can be delivered safely.
Typical patients are given versed (IV valium) and fentanyl (IV pain medication) which makes almost all patients EXTREMELY relaxed and comfortable.
For those patients who are terrified (you are NOT alone!!!), the anesthesiologist will give a small amount of the medications prior to bringing the patient into the operating room. Furthermore, if the more commonly used medications are not working to control a patients' anxiety, propofol (Diprivan) will be given. Patients often ask, "Can I be put to sleep?" Occasionally, we will do cataract surgery under general anesthesia for claustrophobic or patients with severe phobias. However, the more sedation given, the more risk there is to one's heart and lungs. I don't like to make any promises, but 99% of patients find the procedure to MUCH easier than they think.
I am constantly talking to patients throughout the surgery explaining what is happening and acknowledging that what the patient is perceiving at that specific moment is normal and routine.
After the Procedure
After the surgery is done, patients go to the recovery room for about 15-20 minutes, have something to eat and drink, and then go home. I don't even put a shield over the eye. Patients can resume all normal and reasonable activities that same day except driving, because of the sedation.
Cataract Surgery will be one of the best decisions you will make! Don’t wait and schedule your consultation with Dr. Elkins today!