There’s been some discussion in the comments about exams under anesthesia, or EUAs, which are pretty much what they sound like: an exam of your child’s eyes while your child is under anesthesia. They are often done for pediatric IOP (intraocular pressure) examinations, or if a patient is unable to tolerate a complete eye exam within an outpatient clinic setting (American Optometric Association, Pediatric Eye and Vision Examination (pdf), pg. 20, 27 ).
We’ve never had to do an EUA with Zoe, so I’m borrowing (with permission) Danielle’s notes from her comments. Her daughter has had multiple EUAs. If anyone else has experiences or thoughts to add, please do. I’ve also added a few links at the end of this for more information. – AnnZ
They always schedule EUAs in advance and they are classified as surgery because your child will be put under anesthesia. The hospital where the exam is scheduled will follow the same procedure as if your child was having surgery. You should get a packet with pre-surgery guidelines and requirements. Some hospital require a pre-op check up and others don’t. Our daughter has had an EUA at Boston Children’s and at Mass Eye & Ear and both hospitals have different pre-surgery requirements. We always take our daughter for a pre-op check up with her pediatrician to ensure she is fine before she is put under anesthesia, even if the hospital does not require a check up. This helps give us peace of mind knowing she has been cleared by her doctor.
When you go in they will have surgery prep that takes about 30 minutes when they will weigh your daughter, take her vitals and receive all of her medical information/history. Try to take toys and other items that will comfort your daughter. Mia’s last EUA (at 5 months) was the first time they allowed 1 parent in the operating room while she was being put under. This was a first for us, it was so hard leaving the room, when I looked back she looked so limp and lifeless, it was so scary and heart wrenching. They will most likely have 1 parent in the room for your daughter. At Boston Children’s they do not allow a parent in the operating room until your child is 10 months old and up, they told us that before 10 months old children really do not have separation anxiety. Be prepared, we were not and it was so hard seeing her put under, the anesthesiologist told me that it is much harder for the parents than it is for the child.
Links to more information about EUAs:
- Cincinnati Children’s Hospital’s information abut EUA procedures.
- Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh’s information for parents and children on eye examination under anesthesia (3 page pdf)