I had cataract surgery 5 years ago in Paducah, KY without any sedation, just local/topical anesthesia. Everything went fine with great results. I am ready to get my other eye done in Columbia SC and can't seem to find a doctor/facility that will do it without an IV sedation. Has anything changed in this time that would now require sedation? Is there any special requirement in SC?
Almost every eye surgeon that does "topical/local" uses some intravenous sedation. Likely you did also. What you want to stay away from is GENERAL anesthesia. I know several excellent physicians from KY and they all use intravenous sedation in addition to topical local.
If I were having the surgery I would not see any surgeon that DID NOT use iv sedation.
I'm not sure about the sedation methods commonly used in various states. I can tell you, though, that for my own cataract surgery here in Illinois I was given a dose of Valium (in pill form) along with the usual numbing eye drops. I didn't think I needed the Valium, and as it turmed out I was awake and quite alert during the surgery (Valium notwithstanding). However, my eye surgeon told me that the surgery center was pretty insistent on using Valium sedation. Perhaps some form of sedation is being used more frequently these days as a precautionary measure.
I knew that I had found the right cataract surgeon when he told me that it would be just fine to skip the sedation entirely--no IV, no longer-lasting pill, just numbing drops. And everything did turn out just fine (twice). But it's certainly the case that most of the surgeons in Chicago do use sedation with the numbing drops for cataract surgeon. (One of the surgeons I consulted acted horrified when I asked about skipping the sedation.)
It's my impression that the practice of medicine is influenced by traditions. It seems to be the tradition in the USA to use sedation for procedures done without sedation in other parts of the world. (I was delighted when I learned that Dr. Charles of Memphis performed delicate retinal procedures with local anesthesia only.)
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