Lets get to the point
- What is a nerve block? It is a way to reduce/totally prevent the pain sensation that patients experience from certain surgeries. Anesthesiologist can use their knowledge of anatomy to locate the nerves going to the part of the body being operated on.
- Which cases are nerve blocks good for? Nerve blocks are most commonly used for orthopedic surgeries where the nerves going to that area can be isolated. We have also started doing regional blocks for belly and hernia surgeries as well. Your anesthesia provider can explain more.
- How is a nerve block done. The nerve block is explained to the patient, consent for the block is obtained, standard monitoring is applied, patient is sedated, area to be blocked is cleaned with chloraprep, and local is given. Next the desired nerves are located using anatomical landmarks or ultrasound to place a needle attached to a nerve stimulator as close to the desired nerve as possible. Local anesthetic is injected and after 10 to 15 mins all sensations going to that area are taken away. A catheter can be placed to prolong the duration of this effect for 2 to 3 days.