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Hello and thanks for your question. I can understand your anxiety. Having had general anesthesia myself, it can be a nerve-wracking experience. I can reassure you, though, that having a little bit of versed associated with cataract surgery is nothing like having general anesthesia.
It only provides a mild-moderate level of anxiety reduction and sedation and is very common and standard practice to give cataract patients. It basically takes the edge off of the anxiety and allows you to relax. However, it is desirable in cataract surgery to not go to sleep and so versed is used in small amounts to achieve this desirable effect while keeping you awake. I do several cataract surgeries every week and each one of my patients gets this small amount of versed and they all do very well; because of it's amnestic properties, many times the patients don't even remember some of the events of cataract surgery.
Does this make sense? Does this information help address your concerns?
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My opinion is solely informative and does not constitute a formal medical opinion or recommendation. For a formal medical opinion and/or recommendation you must see an eye doctor. Thanks for your inquiry!
Hello again, I had a dilated exam today and the doctor said that because the right cataract is so dense, there could be increased risk of complications. Can you share what those might be - like I wasn't nervous enough. He also said that although I had a B Scan that showed no irregularities, be feels there could be a retinal inflammation or problem. Do you have any thoughts - thank you.
I suspect the thing that your doctor worries about is what he can't see--your retina. Although the B-scan helps him to see that the retina is attached (not detached) and that there are no masses in the vitreous, retina, or choroid, the fact that he can't examine the retina leaves him to suspect that (maybe, just postulating) maybe there is some inflammation in the posterior segment of the eye which has caused such an advanced cataract in one eye (and not the other)--that's a possiblity. Although, in my experience, even in eyes that have significant, chronic inflammation, they do not end up getting very advanced cataracts from these.
Just about any complication that can arise in cataract surgery (he should've told you all of these) is more likely to happen with a very mature cataract; this includes increased inflammation requiring prolonged treatment with steroids, swelling in the cornea which does not resolve and requires a corneal transplant, pieces of the cataract which fall to the back of the eye and require a second surgery to remove, vitreous (jelly from the back of the eye) coming forward to the front part of the eye, bleeding, retinal detachment, etc...
However, even most patients with very advanced cataracts still do quite well. It's just that your chance that you get one of these is just a little bit more than someone who doesn't have an advanced cataract.