CEP America anesthesiologists perform many cases at our same day surgery or ambulatory centers using local anesthesia with sedation. Occasionally, when appropriate, we provide the same services in our hospital settings as well (i.e., cataract or eye surgery).
In all cases, an anesthesiologist will always be present during the surgery to monitor your care and provide for your comfort. Because local anesthesia with sedation often involves a "lighter" anesthetic, the recovery for same day procedures is often quicker and associated with fewer side effects.
Frequently Asked Questions about Sedation Anesthesia:
What is MAC Anesthesia?
What are the advantages for local anesthesia/sedation?
Will I be awake?
What is topical anesthesia?
What are the risks for topical and regional anesthesia?
What kind of sedation will I receive?
When can I drive?
MAC stands for "Monitored Anesthesia Care" and is another term that refers to local anesthesia with sedation. In general, this refers to an anesthesiologist who gives medications that will sedate you but allow you to breathe spontaneously. Oftentimes, local medication (or "numbing" medicine) is also given at the site of surgery. This is also commonly known as "twilight" anesthesia.
The main advantage of local anesthesia and sedation is a minimization of the side effects of anesthesia. Recovery is often quicker and patient satisfaction is just as high with an appropriately chosen case.
Your level of awareness will depend on how much medication you are given and your individual response. However, at all times, if you are uncomfortable or would like to be more asleep/awake, you can inform your anesthesiologist, who will be with you the entire time.
Topical anesthesia is a type of anesthesia commonly used in eye cases. It involves placing eye drops that numb your eye. Sometimes a regional anesthetic may also be done (eye block) that will block eye movement during surgery. There are medical reasons your ophthalmologist may prefer one technique over the other.
The risks for topical anesthesia are very minimal; however, there are reasons your ophthalmologist may wish to use the "eye block" technique. The risks for the regional or "eye block" technique are quite rare, but include bleeding, infection, and mild discomfort (during the injection). It is a safe and proven technique for eye surgery.
The choice of sedative medication will be up to your anesthesiologist but, like all local anesthesia/sedation cases, the majority of medications will be short-acting and have fewer side effects than a general anesthetic.
At discharge, you will receive instructions regarding resuming normal activities. Every patient differs with respect to the operation performed, anesthesia received, and pain medications received. All patients will therefore receive individualized instructions at discharge.