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J Cataract Refract Surg. 2001 Jun;27(6):880-3.

Patient pain during different stages of phacoemulsification using topical anesthesia.

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  • 1Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.



To assess the pain experienced by patients during the different stages of phacoemulsification cataract surgery performed under topical anesthesia.


Ophthalmic teaching hospital, Dublin, Ireland.


This prospective study comprised 100 consecutive patients having phacoemulsification under topical anesthesia. Patients were asked to grade the pain they experienced during the different stages of the procedure using a visual analog pain scale from 0 to 10. The pain experienced during the procedure was compared with that experienced after the instillation of a drop of amethocaine.


The overall mean pain score was 1.46. The highest mean pain score, which was during the phacoemulsification stage of the procedure, was not significantly more than the score for the administration of the topical anesthetic agent. The duration of surgery was not related to the level of pain during the procedure.


Topical anesthesia was effective in phacoemulsification cataract surgery. Because the highest mean score was not significantly higher than that for the administration of the anesthetic agent, it is possible to counsel patients before surgery that the pain they experience during the procedure will be no worse than that during administration of the anesthetic drops.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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