Eye surgery, also known as ocular surgery, is surgery performed on the eye or its adnexa, typically by an ophthalmologist. The eye is a very fragile organ, and requires extreme care before, during, and after a surgical procedure to minimise or prevent further damage. An expert eye surgeon is responsible for selecting the appropriate surgical procedure for the patient, and for taking the necessary safety precautions. Mentions of eye surgery can be found in several ancient texts dating back as early as 1800 BC, with cataract treatment starting in the fifth century BC. Today it continues to be a widely practiced type of surgery, having developed various techniques for treating eye problems.
Since the eye is heavily supplied by nerves, anesthesia is essential. Local anesthesia is most commonly used. Topical anesthesia using lidocaine topical gel is often used for quick procedures. Since topical anesthesia requires cooperation from the patient, general anesthesia is often used for children, traumatic eye injuries, or major orbitotomies, and for apprehensive patients. The physician administering anesthesia, or a nurse anesthetist or anesthetist assistant with expertise in anesthesia of the eye, monitors the patient's cardiovascular status. Sterile precautions are taken to prepare the area for surgery and lower the risk of infection. These precautions include the use of antiseptics, such as povidone-iodine, and sterile drapes, gowns, and gloves. Although the terms laser eye surgery and refractive surgery are commonly used as if they were interchangeable, this is not the case. Lasers may be used to treat nonrefractive conditions (e.g. to seal a retinal tear). Laser eye surgery or laser corneal surgery is a medical procedure that uses a laser to reshape the surface of the eye to correct myopia (short-sightedness), hypermetropia (long-sightedness), and astigmatism (uneven curvature of the eye's surface). Importantly, refractive surgery is not compatible with everyone, and people may find on occasion that eyewear is still needed after surgery.
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Journal of optometry : open access