If you have to go through hand surgery, dont worry. There are different types of anesthesia to ensure you dont feel pain or discomfort during the procedure. Lets talk about the different options that may be used depending on your surgeons preference, your preference, and the type of problem that needs surgical correction. These include local, regional and general anesthesia.
Local anesthetics means only a very small area of the body will be numbed. The medication will be injected directly in the site where the surgery will take place. A local anesthesia means you will be awake, which can be very stressful for some people. For that reason, you will likely also be given medications to help you relax, either beforehand or intravenously during the procedure. This way, you will remain relaxed while the surgery is done and you shouldnt feel any pain. This is used for minor procedures on the hand
Regional anesthesia is often also called a nerve or arm block. With this type, your whole arm, forearm, wrist, or hand will be completely numbed. There are different ways the block can be used depending on how much of your arm needs to be numbed. These include:
- Supraclavicular Block, which is placed above the collarbone. It is often used because it provides anesthesia to the whole arm, wrist, and hand.
- Axillary Block, which is injected in the armpit and works to provide anesthesia for elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand surgeries.
- Interscalene Block, which is injected near the base of the neck and will even numb the shoulder so that surgery can be done on any part of the arm.
- Infraclavicular Block, which is injected below the collarbone and provides numbing for forearm, wrist, and hand.
- Bier Block, which is injected in the arm also uses a tourniquet to keep the numbing agent in the arm itself. It is used often for very short procedures in the hand and wrist.
- Wrist Block, which is injected in the wrist nerves, will numb the fingers and hand.
- Rescue Block, which is used after surgery to control pain and is often used in conjunction with one of the other blocks.
The block will be placed after a small area of your skin has been numbed so that you wont feel as much discomfort. A nerve stimulator may be used, which causes the nerves to jump so that they can be found.
The final type of anesthesia is general, and will completely put you to sleep during the surgical procedure. Sometimes, this is used with a nerve block to ensure the least amount of discomfort or stress possible.
Your surgeon will explain what type of anesthesia you should have during your own procedure. However, you can let your preferences be known and if possible, the surgeon will accommodate them. Sometimes, depending on the type of injury or problem and the required surgery, there will be no choice but to use a certain type of anesthesia during the procedure.