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June 2001

Temporary Retrobulbar Catheter for Local Anesthesia in Vitreoretinal Surgery

Arch Ophthalmol. 2001;119(6):924. doi:

We read with interest the recent article by Jonas et al.1 They are to be commended on a very interesting study evaluating a modified retrobulbar local anesthesia technique to perform vitreoretinal procedures.

However, Jonas et al state in their article that "in retinal and vitreoretinal surgery . . . general anesthesia is preferred." We have to disagree with that statement. In fact, local anesthesia has become preferable to general anesthesia for posterior vitrectomy procedures because of improvements in technique and instrumentation in addition to surgical time. The advantages of local anesthesia are well known and include more rapid ambulation, the ability to perform the procedure as an outpatient, avoidance of complications of general anesthesia, and quicker surgery.2

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