You may talk to a specialist before surgery. They will ask about overall health or previous reactions to anesthesia.
Leading up to your procedure:
The doctor may ask you to avoid food and drink after midnight the night before.
Take any medicine recommended by your doctor.
Avoid certain medicine if recommended by your doctor.
Have someone available to drive you home.
Description of Procedure
Medicine may be given to help calm you. The area will be cleaned with a special liquid. A medicine may be applied to the skin or injected into the area. It will numb the area before the regional anesthesia is put in.
The doctor will locate the nerve cluster. The needle will be inserted through the skin to the nerves. The medicine will be released into the nerve. It will affect the nerve and area of the body that nerve controls; for example:
Epidural and spinal injections are placed near the spinal canal. They can block sensation in the entire lower body.
Peripheral nerve block is placed near specific nerves that feed just 1 arm or leg. It is often used for knee, shoulder, or arm surgery.
A cervical nerve block is placed in the neck. It can also block off an area of the shoulder and arm.
Anesthesia basics. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/anesthesia-basics.html. Updated September 2015. Accessed February 13, 2020.
Regional anesthesia for surgery. American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine website. Available at: https://www.asra.com/page/41/regional-anesthesia-for-surgery. Accessed February 13, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2019 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 9/18/2020
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