What is Anesthesia?
Chances are you or someone you know are considering a medical procedure requiring general or regional anesthesia in Houston, and you want to know the definition and how it works. Simply put, it is using a medication called an anesthetic drug or gas to control pain and provide pain relief.
According to the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, anesthesia can help control breathing, blood pressure, blood flow, heart rate and rhythm.
Anesthesia Options for Hand Surgery in Houston, Texas
- General anesthesia
- Local anesthesia
- Regional anesthesia
During general anesthesia, you will remain unconscious and not feel anything during the surgery. Your anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist will administer the anesthetic gas or intravenous (IV) sedation medication to control pain and make sure you are not awake during the procedure.
General anesthesia is typically used in more complex hand surgeries, tendon transfers or accidents involving automobiles or power saw injuries.
If you are having hand surgery for a small area, then your doctor may choose local anesthesia. This means that you will have a medication injected to numb the site and remain awake during the entire procedure. The loss of sensation could last up to 3 days.
Typical types of hand surgical procedures allowing for local anesthesia include trigger finger surgery and ganglion cyst removal.
Key benefits of local anesthesia:
- Can make movements of hand and fingers for surgeon feedback
- Stops excessive bleeding
- Minimizes pain in treatment area
Regional Anesthesia or Nerve Blocks
The drugs used in regional anesthesia provide a numbing sensation to your body along nerve pathways. They are injected with a needle and may be administered with an IV to the collarbone area or neck, under your arm, or in the wrist, palm or fingers. This serves to both allow numbing as well a pathway for Dr. Ashford to stimulate and test your nerve to make certain of it’s location.
At times this procedure may be somewhat uncomfortable or slightly painful. If so, drugs to relax you and make you comfortable can be given through this IV line as well.
Key benefits of regional anesthesia
- Less need for postoperative pain medication
- Faster recovery time vs general anesthesia
- Less nausea
- Lowered blood loss
- Less risk of blood clots