Ophthalmic Anaesthesia

ophthalmic anaesthesia Adult eye operations are all performed within a dedicated unit on level 7 of Derriford Hospital.

The unit performs approximately 3,500 cataract operations each year and about 1000 non-cataract operations such as squint surgery, retinal detachment procedures and operations on the eyelids to name a few.

The vast majority of all eye operations are performed under local anaesthetic, meaning that people do not need to undergo a general anaesthetic, and are mostly able to go home within an hour of the operation finishing. 

Cataract operations are performed with either a local anaesthetic injection (nerve block) or drops to make the surface of the eye numb.

Operations which involve the retina at the back of the eye need a local anaesthetic injection to numb the whole of the eye and to keep the eye still during the procedure.

An eye operation A few procedures, such as squint operations or those which involve drainage of tear ducts may need general anaesthesia.

An anaesthetist will be present to perform local anaesthetic injections and general anaesthesia and will be available for assistance for other procedures which do not require nerve blocks.  All eye operations can be performed as Day Case procedures, meaning that an overnight stay is not required.


Click here for a link to the Royal College of Ophthalmologists information leaflets

Was this page helpful?

Was this page helpful?

Please answer the question below, this helps us to reduce the number of spam emails that we receive so that we can spend more time responding to genuine enquiries and feedback. Thank you.