Ropivacaine versus lidocaine for deep-topical, nerve-block anaesthesia in cataract surgery: a double-blind randomized clinical trial

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To evaluate the safety and efficacy of ropivacaine versus lidocaine for deep-topical, nerve-block anaesthesia in cataract surgery.


This prospective controlled randomized double-blind study comprised 64 patients undergoing clear corneal phacoemulsification. Patients were equally divided into two group receiving either deep-topical anaesthesia with 1% ropivacaine-soaked sponge (Group R, n = 32) or 2% lidocaine-soaked sponge (Group L, n = 32). The level of intraoperative and postoperative pain was assessed by patients using a verbal analogue scale from 1 to 10. The duration of surgery, the need for supplemental anaesthesia, surgeon satisfaction, and intraoperative and early postoperative complications were recorded. The patients' heart rate, arterial blood pressure and peripheric oxygen saturation (SpO2) were obtained just before the anaesthesia and during the surgery.


The demographic data of the patients and duration of surgery were similar in both groups. No significant difference in the mean pain scores of patients were found in the ropivacaine and lidocaine groups. Surgical satisfaction was also statistically insignificant. None of the patients had significant difference in heart rate, blood pressure or SpO2 during the surgical procedure.


Deep-topical anaesthesia with ropivacaine and lidocaine in cataract surgery is safe and the two anaesthetic agents do not present differences in the degree of analgesia achieved. Deep-topical anaesthesia with ropivacaine or lidocaine was equally effective in providing anaesthesia with sufficient quality for cataract surgery.

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