On the day
The receptionist will confirm your details and direct you towards the ward.
In the ward
Most patients do not require sedation for their surgery. However, if the doctor has identified this as a requirement at the time of the pre-assessment clinic then the appropriate sedative tablet will be offered to you. Please tell the nurse if anything has changed since your pre-operative assessment, for example, new medication, illness or eyesight change. Your Consultant Ophthalmologist will visit you in the ward area or in the anaesthetic room.
You will be escorted to the ambulatory reception, close to theatre, where anaesthetic and antiseptic drops will be placed in to your eye. In some cases, the whole eye needs to be anaesthetised in order to prevent it moving. The Consultant Ophthalmologists may then use an injection close to your eye.
You will be wheeled into the operating theatre. The area around the eye will be cleaned with a surgical skin cleaner containing iodine, and your face, head and chest will be covered to create a sterile barrier. This sterile sheet is adhesive and sticks to the skin around the eye. Removing it at the end of the procedure is like having a sticking plaster removed – if you have particularly delicate skin please let us know. Water is used to irrigate the eye during the procedure. This sometimes gets behind the surgical sheet and can run down into your ear or neck. Therefore, we remove hearing aids on the side of the surgery just before the operation. The water is coloured with iodine and may be difficult to wash out from white clothing. The surgeon uses a high-powered microscope to perform the surgery and the light is very bright. You will be asked to look straight into the light so the operation can take place. You need to keep as still as possible during the procedure. Even slight movements, like talking or nodding, are amplified under the microscope and make the surgery more difficult. You will be shown how to indicate to the surgeon if you need to cough or sneeze.