Dr. Seidel explains advantages of local anesthetics on hand procedures.

Developed in Canada 20 years ago, wide awake surgery with local only anesthesia is growing in popularity as a cost-effective way to manage and expedite surgical care of certain hand conditions. 20-30 minutes prior to the procedure, the patient receives a local anesthetic similar to the one administered by dentists. In this article, Dr. Seidel – hand surgeon at Comprehensive Orthopaedics – explains the advantages of local anesthetics  on hands procedures vs full sedation.

What are the advantages of local anesthetics for hand procedures?

1. Targeted Pain Relief:

One of the key advantages of local anesthetics is their ability to provide targeted pain relief to a specific area of the body. This means that only the area being treated is numbed, allowing patients to remain awake and alert during the procedure and use their hand immediately following the procedure.

2. Lower Risk of Side Effects:

Local anesthetics have a lower risk of systemic side effects compared to IV anesthetics, which affect the entire body.  Having the procedure performed under local only may be beneficial for patients who are more sensitive to medications, have previous adverse reactions to anesthesia or have underlying health conditions.

3. Faster Recovery:

Since local anesthetics do not cause loss of consciousness or affect the entire body, patients typically experience a faster recovery time compared to procedures involving IV anesthetics. Local only procedures can be performed in the office, surgery center and hospital.  Patients are able to leave shortly after their surgery with post-operative recovery time in the facility, on average an hour less than similar procedures with IV anesthesia.  In addition, patients typically experience less post-operative discomfort and an expedited return to work and activities.

4. Reduced Risk of Complications:

Local anesthetics are often preferred for minor procedures or surgeries because they pose less risk of complications such as respiratory depression or allergic reactions that can sometimes occur with IV anesthesia.

5. Cost-Effective:

Using local anesthetics can be more cost-effective compared to IV anesthesia. Studies estimate that procedures when performed under local only anesthesia result in an 80% reduction in healthcare costs associated with the procedure compared to when performed with IV sedation.

Dr. Seidel has experienced extremely high patient satisfaction with local anesthetics only surgeries. This is supported by numerous medical studies that have found over 95% of patients who had their surgeries performed under local only anesthesia would choose to do so again if available compared with IV sedation.  Patients are also likely to recommend local only procedures to friends and family members due to a faster recovery time and the ability to return to their routine expediently with due precautions.

Patients with pre-existing health conditions and those with higher risks of complication from anesthesia are also great candidates for local only anesthesia.

Dr. Seidel has performed a number of these procedures for carpal tunnel, trigger finger release, and ganglion cysts at our local office further reducing the costs of these type of surgeries.  Of course, Dr. Seidel recommends scheduling an appointment with his team to go over the available non-surgical options first. Call us to schedule a consultation with Dr. Seidel and to discuss with his available options for your hand and wrist injuries. Call us: 203.265.3280 or visit https://comprehensiveorthopaedics.com/contact/ for more information.