Ryan’s having another EUA today, and I’ve been asked what exactly happens during this procedure. EUA stands for Examination Under Anesthesia. Ryan’s had countless of these- every time he’s at Wills Eye one is performed. As he gets older, he will eventually be able to have the exams done without the sedation.
Because he requires anesthesia, we have to first take him to the pediatrician to have his health cleared. Generally we do that the week before the appointment at Wills Eye, and they require a specific form to be filled out.
The night before the appointment, we can’t give him anything to eat or drink after a certain time. Now that he’s four, it’s easier to explain it to him, but when he was an infant, going all those hours without feeding him were tough. Luckily, they usually take the youngest patients first. Once called back, Ryan’s pupils are dilated and anesthesia is administered.
The doctor examines the eyes using these lights and lenses and keeps his eyes open during the process with eye speculum. If you’ve ever seen what those things look like, then you totally understand why you need to sedate little kids. I would need to be sedated too! She also takes photos/ultrasounds and she always draws pictures of the tumors.
If she determines that he needs treatment, it’s done then if possible. This could be the laser or cryotherapy. If she decides it’s too much for that, he gets refered out for something else- like when he had that radioactive plaque or chemotherapy.
When he comes out of anestesia, he can be cranky. They usually give him some apple juice and keep an eye on him for a bit (no pun intended). During that recovery time, the doctor generally comes in and relays her findings to Aaron. Depending on what treatment he received, his eyes might be swollen and red for awhile.
I’ve lost count of how many times they’ve sedated Ryan, between the EUAs, MRIs, and everything else.
Don’t mind the conversation in the video below, I was just trying to keep him looking at me so I could capture how his eyes move.