Examples of Surgery on the Eye

These are just a couple examples of ocular surgery. Unlike many surgeries, it is often not beneficial for the patient to be put under general anesthesia. Historically, the topical anesthetic cocaine was used during surgery, and the patient was lightly sedated. 

Currently, topical anesthetic in nasal and ocular/lachrymal surgery is one of the only legal uses of cocaine, even though most surgeons opt for synthetic narcotic anesthetics these days. It has an extreme vasoconstrictive effect, which leads to minimal bleeding. In delicate surgery of highly vascularized areas like the nasal passages and eyeball, removing the complicating factor of loose blood at the surgical site can mean the difference between sight and blindness.

Diseases of the Eye. George E. DeSchweinitz, 1917.

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