I perform many types of surgeries with only a local anesthetic (numbing medicine) without general anaethesia. This is a relatively newer technique in which there are tremendous benefits for both patient and the healthcare system.
If you elect to have surgery in this manner, you will receive an injection before surgery, wait approximately 30 minutes before surgery, will be awake during surgery, and can go home immediately after.
What are the benefits?
- The surgery is typically quite efficient.
- The patient avoids the risks of general anesthesia (which places a tube in your throat, requires that a machine controls your breathing, and may risk your heart, lungs, and brain)
- No “hang over” from general anesthesia – which may lead to a quicker recovery.
- Avoid the general medical work up for general anaethesia, which often delays care.
- Very low infection rates (0-0.3%)
- Tremendously reduced cost to the healthcare system
- Significantly less environmental waste
- Enhanced patient safety
- Similar surgical outcomes
- Less pain during surgery
- Lower pain medication use - less risk of addiction
- Able to drive yourself
What are the risks?
- Some patients are nervous in the operating room - but you are welcome to bring in head phones for your own music!
- Necrosis of tissue is theoretically possible when epinephrine is used – although there is absolutely no evidence for this theory. It may be more likely with someone who has a severe connective tissue disease.
What surgeries can be performed in this fashion?
- Carpal tunnel
- Cubital tunnel
- Trigger finger
- Mass removal
- Finger tip surgery
- Tendon surgery
- Arthritis surgery
- Dupuytren contracture release
- Some types of fracture surgery
- Current scientific evidence on this technique: www.jhsgo.org/article/S2589-5141(22)00020-2/fulltext
- Compare the different types of anesthesia: www.assh.org/handcare/condition/hand-surgery-anesthesia
Make an appointment with Dr. Dunn and ask about having your surgery under local anaethesia!