Step By Step Guide To Verbal Anesthesia

“It is perfectly normal to be anxious before 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.

Instead he – and many colleagues – use a system of verbal anesthesia. This has nothing to do with dozing off when listening to the party bore drone on with some boring story; nor does it have any connection with hypnosis. It is, instead, a simple technique of saying the right thing at the right time and giving the correct information just when its needed.

“With this method”, explains Dr Dan, “you can talk someone through the procedure without them realizing that you’ve done it.” Out of more than 14,000 operations Dr Dan has never failed to guide even the most nervous patient through their Laser Eye Surgery.

Even though one or two have proved especially challenging.

Dr Dan recalls the case of a patient he operated on 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!

How did you cope with such an over-reaction?

“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 end 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.

Afterwards all patients agree that – although they might have experienced a rather odd sensation – it is entirely pain free. The aneasthetic drops provide full pain blockage and you can happily leave your mental well-being to some yummy chocolate … just what the doctor ordered.

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