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Knowledge of visual experience during cataract surgery under local anaesthesia: a nationwide survey of UK ophthalmologists
  1. A Laude1,2,
  2. K G Au Eong1,3,4,5,
  3. K B Mills2
  1. 1
    The Eye Institute at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, National Healthcare Group, Singapore
  2. 2
    Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, National Health Service Trust, UK
  3. 3
    The Eye Institute at Alexandra Hospital, National Healthcare Group, Singapore
  4. 4
    Department of Ophthalmology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  5. 5
    Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore
  1. Dr K G Au Eong, Singapore International Eye Cataract Retina Centre, 3 Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre, Singapore 228510, Singapore; kah_guan_au_eong{at}alexhosp.com.sg

Abstract

Aim: To evaluate the knowledge and practices of UK ophthalmologists regarding patients’ subjective visual experience during cataract surgery under local anaesthesia.

Methods: A nationwide postal survey was conducted on UK ophthalmologists using a standardised questionnaire.

Results: The proportion of surgeons who operated under regional anaesthesia who thought that patients could experience the following visual sensations were: no light perception (54%); light perception (95%); one or more colours (93%); flashes of light (81%); movement (87%); instruments (61%); surgeon’s hands or fingers (53%); surgeon (43%); and changes in light brightness (88%). Fifty-eight per cent of them thought that patients might be frightened by this, and 77% thought that preoperative counselling could help alleviate this fear. The proportion of surgeons who operated under topical anaesthesia who thought that patients could experience the following visual sensations were: no light perception (10%); light perception (94%); one or more colours (97%); flashes of light (86%); movement (96%); instruments (81%); surgeon’s hands or fingers (65%); surgeon (51%); changes in light brightness (95%). Fifty-nine per cent of them thought that patients might be frightened by this, and 80% thought that preoperative counselling could help alleviate this fear.

Conclusion: Most UK surgeons believed that during cataract surgery under local anaesthesia, patients might experience various visual sensations which could cause fear and that such fear could be alleviated by preoperative counselling.

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Presented in part at the National Healthcare Group Annual Scientific Congress 2004, Singapore, 9–10 October 2004.

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