cataract operation phobia and concern

Hi
I am having a cataract operation soon, but i have some concerns. i will be given sedation in the form of tablets, because of claustrophobia, but i do not know how strong that will be, i also suffer from various medical conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, and Ulcerative colitis, which make it difficult for me to lie still and i can not lie flat on my back. Hope somebody can answer some questions of concern to me.
Do you have to lie flat on your back?
do you have to lie still?
how well do these medications for sedation work?
At the dentist, i get gas and air so more or less out of it, which i am looking for.
How soon can you drive afterward?
Thanks
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Comments

  • olgadapolga
    olgadapolga Posts: 2,273 Forumite
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    Hi
    I am having a cataract operation soon, but i have some concerns. i will be given sedation in the form of tablets, because of claustrophobia, but i do not know how strong that will be, i also suffer from various medical conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, and Ulcerative colitis, which make it difficult for me to lie still and i can not lie flat on my back. Hope somebody can answer some questions of concern to me.
    Do you have to lie flat on your back?
    do you have to lie still?
    how well do these medications for sedation work?
    At the dentist, i get gas and air so more or less out of it, which i am looking for.
    How soon can you drive afterward?
    Thanks
    Why didn't you raise these issues at your consultation? Your medical team are best placed to answer these questions. I'd suggest contacting them.
  • Hi
    I am having a cataract operation soon, but i have some concerns. i will be given sedation in the form of tablets, because of claustrophobia, but i do not know how strong that will be, i also suffer from various medical conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, and Ulcerative colitis, which make it difficult for me to lie still and i can not lie flat on my back. Hope somebody can answer some questions of concern to me.
    Do you have to lie flat on your back?
    do you have to lie still?
    how well do these medications for sedation work?
    At the dentist, i get gas and air so more or less out of it, which i am looking for.
    How soon can you drive afterward?
    Thanks
    Why didn't you raise these issues at your consultation? Your medical team are best placed to answer these questions. I'd suggest contacting them.
    I did, but it always is best to get opinions from people who have had it don, the medical term does not answer how well a sedation tablet works and quite honestly you sound very callous :( and I feel sorry for you.
  • violetta
    violetta Posts: 2,624 Forumite
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    I used to be private secretary to a consultant ophthalmologist before she retired. She told me that when a patient cannot lie flat, the operating table and the surgeon's position can be adapted so that the patient is comfortable. They can accommodate patients with all sorts of postural problems comfortably so that the operation can be carried out and the patient can remain still as they are not in discomfort. I do not know anything about the sedation side of things though. She did say that they gently blow cool air beneath the sterile covering over the face that surrounds the eye to be operated though, to alleviate the panicky covered up feeling
    A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion
  • MalMonroe
    MalMonroe Posts: 5,783 Forumite
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    Hi, we're not supposed to give any kind of medical advice on this site so I proceed here with caution! I understand you're not asking for any medical advice but really you're wanting some reassurance. As olgadapolga said above (but in quite a brusque way), you could ask the consultant or a member of his or her team. I recently had a minor procedure at hospital and a few days before, a nurse phoned me and went through what would be happening. It does help if you know what to expect and you are allowed to ask questions beforehand. You can contact your GP too. You just want some more detailed information and that is absolutely fine. You should also be given some printed information but if you need more, please don't be afraid to ask. That's what the medical staff are there for and they know that patients want to be reassured. 
    Please note - taken from the Forum Rules and amended for my own personal use (with thanks) : It is up to you to investigate, check, double-check and check yet again before you make any decisions or take any action based on any information you glean from any of my posts. Although I do carry out careful research before posting and never intend to mislead or supply out-of-date or incorrect information, please do not rely 100% on what you are reading. Verify everything in order to protect yourself as you are responsible for any action you consequently take.
  • MalMonroe said:
    Hi, we're not supposed to give any kind of medical advice on this site so I proceed here with caution! I understand you're not asking for any medical advice but really you're wanting some reassurance. As olgadapolga said above (but in quite a brusque way), you could ask the consultant or a member of his or her team. I recently had a minor procedure at hospital and a few days before, a nurse phoned me and went through what would be happening. It does help if you know what to expect and you are allowed to ask questions beforehand. You can contact your GP too. You just want some more detailed information and that is absolutely fine. You should also be given some printed information but if you need more, please don't be afraid to ask. That's what the medical staff are there for and they know that patients want to be reassured. 
    As i said above I did meaning ask, but it always is best to get opinions from people who have had it done, the medical team does not answer how well a sedation tablet works, only people who took it can say oh gosh it worked for me very well, I can not remember anything etc, I have had many iv sedations which knock you out and told the surgeon that is what I need but was told all they do is give tablet sedation, I am asking here for specific info of experiences, not a medical opinion, so find it a shame people can not bother to read or ask for clarification and as I see people on here are very self-centered by the looks of it.
  • Pollycat
    Pollycat Posts: 34,656 Forumite
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    Medical advice

    However well-intentioned, avoid seeking and/or offering medical advice, as it could result in unwanted consequences for all concerned.


    This ^^^^ is what MSE say.
    The MSE Forum Guide: Frequently Asked Questions & Rules (moneysavingexpert.com)

    I'd expect that a sedation tablet might work differently on different people.
    Maybe driving advice would be different for different people too. NHS advice is not to drive until you get the all-clear from your doctor which suggests it's possibly not a specific time from the operation.
    So anecdotal replies may either falsely reassure you or worry you unnecessarily. Neither would be great (imho)

    I can understand your apprehension after being told "all they do is give tablet sedation".
    It sounds like they have not taken your concerns/issues on board.

    I would say that the best person to ask about lying flat and lying still is your consultant.

    Hope your operation goes well.
    I've only heard positive reviews from people I know have had this procedure.


  • Ibrahim5
    Ibrahim5 Posts: 1,000 Forumite
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    It's a fantastic procedure with massive numbers of happy customers. It's totally painless but you have to be able to look up and keep your head still for 10 to 15 minutes. You remember it but it's not a problem because it's not unpleasant. Thousands are done everyday with local anaesthetic. The tablet reduces your anxiety but you will remember everything. Heavy IV  sedation is dangerous because you are likely to move. Moving is OK if you are having a tooth out or a telescope down your throat but not when someone is operating on your eye 
  • Ms_Mop_123
    Ms_Mop_123 Posts: 83 Forumite
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    I've got RA and I had cataract surgery in 2017.  I had to get comfortable on the bed, had some sort of cushion under my knees.  Yes you do have to lie still but only for about 15 minutes.  It really was a doddle, I thought I would be nervous but I was so calm. I didn't have any sedation either. 
  • kirtondm
    kirtondm Posts: 436 Forumite
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    I work in a cataract clinc one day a week.
    To be honest a lot depends on the set up. We normally require px to lie flat but that would have been addressed in the initial consultation. As indicated above pillows etc are sometimes used.
    We offer tablet sedation which is normally fine or v occasionally it is done under general anesthetic

    With driving it depends on what the surgeons advises. In all honesty 90% people are probably fine the day after but they may want you to attend a f/up first.

    Yes you do have to lie still as any movement during the opeartion will be an issue.
    Depends on the surgeon but a simple op will take around 10mins..

    In your shoes I would ring the centre and clarify your points of concern they would much rather adress them now than on the day of the surgery!

    I wouldn't bother asking your GP! - They are not likely to know much about the specifics of cataract surgery.
  • If the patient can lie flat is an important consideration and should be discussed beforehand. The procedure can still be done successfully, just the preparation and setup are modified accordingly. 

    As long as the consultant has been made aware of anxiety/claustrophobia etc in advance it is fine. The response to tablet sedation varies between individuals so it can be difficult to say conclusively how you will find it. General anaesthetic is an option albeit only in certain circumstances. 

    There have been instances where after tablet sedation and setup the patient has been deemed not ready (elevated anxiety/restlessness etc) in which case the procedure has been halted and an alternative approach taken. 

    The consultant will have encountered nervous patients , poor posture etc all before so they won't be pressing ahead while you're struggling! There are processes in places so try not to worry. 
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