Championing Verbal Anaesthesia for Laser Eye Surgery

One of the most common anxieties we find patients have about Laser Eye Surgery is the question of anaesthesia. We are often asked whether patients are put to sleep (general anaesthetic) during surgery and many are alarmed to discover that they will, in fact, be awake throughout the whole procedure. But at London Vision Clinic, our surgeons are experts in administering verbal anaesthesia (alongside local anaesthetic, of course!) to put our patients’ minds at ease.

Our founder and expert Laser Eye Surgeon, Professor Dan Reinstein, tells us more…

“It is perfectly normal to be anxious before Laser Eye Surgery – it is, after all, eye surgery – but it doesn’t mean that you need chemical alteration of your mental state to have the surgery”, says Dr Dan.

That’s where so-called ‘verbal’ anaesthesia comes in. This has nothing to do with sending you into a dreamless slumber while your procedure is completed, or even numbing the treatment area (this is done with eye drops!); it is, instead, a simple technique employed by our surgeons to help keep you relaxed throughout your surgery.

We have found that simply saying the right thing at the right time can work wonders in keeping our patients calm. By giving you all the information you need as your procedure is performed, you can rest assured there will be no surprises.

“With this method”, explains Dr Dan, “you can talk someone through the procedure without them realising that you’ve done it.”

Having performed tens of thousands of Laser Eye Surgery procedures over the years, Dr Dan has used this technique to successfully guide even the most nervous of patients through their treatment. Even one of two that have proven particularly challenging…

Dr Dan recalls the case of a patient he treated in Vancouver…

“He was the nicest guy in the world and once on the table in the operating room, I started to speak to him explaining that I would first put the anaesthetic drop into his eye. The drop went in and he jumped so high off the bed that he almost fell onto the floor!”

So, how did Dr Dan reassure this particular patient?

“We did what a prudent driver would do on a windy road if his headlights suddenly failed: we slowed right down.

“It is a step-by-step procedure – each step you perform is based and built on the previous step. So you make one step perfectly and then go on to the next step. It took much longer than normal –thirty minutes on one eye – but the result was fine.”

Another patient had a phobia about having his eyes touched to such an extent that when staying in a hotel he would move the bedside furniture away just in case he should roll out of bed and hit his eye on it during the night. Surprisingly in the operating theatre, he had behaved like a model patient!

We understand that Laser Eye Surgery can be a daunting prospect. But at London Vision Clinic, you can rest assured that we will do our utmost to ease any nerves and anxieties you might have throughout the whole process.

You will no doubt be relieved to hear that, as our patients testify, the procedure itself is virtually pain-free! The anaesthetic drops used before the treatment provide full numbing to the area, and our clinic comforts – from complementary chocolates, a friendly teddy and a relaxing head massage – are sure to put you at ease.

If you have any further questions about Laser Eye Surgery at London Vision Clinic, get in touch with one of our friendly clinic coordinators. Alternatively, Book a Consultation today to start your journey to clear vision.