Sedation Anesthesia

Vituity anesthesiologists perform many cases at our same-day surgery or ambulatory centers using local anesthesia with sedation. When appropriate, we provide the same services in hospital settings (e.g., for cataract or eye surgery).


In all cases, a qualified anesthesia provider will always be present during the surgery to monitor your care and keep you comfortable. Because local anesthesia with sedation often involves a lighter anesthetic, the recovery for same-day procedures is often quicker with fewer associated side effects.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sedation Anesthesia

What is MAC or twilight anesthesia?

MAC stands for "monitored anesthesia care" and refers to local anesthesia with sedation. During MAC, an anesthesiologist gives medications that sedate you but allow you to breathe spontaneously. Often, local or "numbing" medication is also given at the site of surgery. MAC is also commonly known as "twilight anesthesia."

What are the advantages of local anesthesia with sedation?

The main advantage of local anesthesia and sedation is minimized side effects of anesthesia. When chosen appropriately, recovery is often quicker, and patient satisfaction is just as high as with other forms of anesthesia.

Will I be awake?

Your level of awareness will depend on how much medication you are given and your individual response. If you are uncomfortable or would like to be more sedated or alert, you can inform your anesthesiologist, who will be with you at all times.

What is topical anesthesia?

Topical anesthesia is a type of anesthesia commonly used in eye cases. It involves placing eye drops that numb your eye. Sometimes a regional anesthetic is also done to block eye movement during surgery. This is known as the "eye block technique." There are medical reasons your ophthalmologist may prefer one technique over the other.

What are the risks for topical and regional anesthesia?

The risks for topical anesthesia are very minimal. However, your ophthalmologist may have reason to use regional anesthesia, or the eye block technique.


The risks of regional anesthesia and eye block technique are quite rare. They include bleeding, infection, and mild discomfort during the injection. These are safe and proven techniques for eye surgery.

What kind of sedation will I receive?

The choice of sedative medication will be up to your anesthesiologist. The majority of local and sedative medications are short acting and have fewer side effects than a general anesthetic.

When can I drive?

You will receive instructions on resuming normal activities at discharge. Every patient differs with respect to the operation performed, anesthesia received, and pain medications received. All patients will receive individualized instructions at discharge.

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