Peribulbar and retrobulbar anaesthesia are commonly used techniques in cataract extraction. They offer satisfactory analgesia and akinesia but serious complications although uncommon are consistently reported. Intravenous sedation combined with a facial nerve block offers an alternative method of anaesthesia. This is a retrospective study of patients who underwent extracapsular cataract extraction using this technique between 1 January 1986 and 1 September 1990. The operating conditions were judged to be very suitable with minimal peroperative complications. The postoperative ocular complication rate was low (minimum follow-up 3 months) and no serious medical complications were noted: 93.8% of patients achieved 6/12 vision or better. This study demonstrates that it is possible to achieve satisfactory ocular analgesia and akinesia during cataract extraction under local anaesthesia without the use of a periocular injection.
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