What is regional anesthesia?
Regional anesthesia or “a nerve block” is a form of anesthesia in which only a part (or region) of the body is anesthetized or made numb. Regional anesthesia involves injecting numbing medicine around the peripheral nerves that innervate certain parts of your body. We perform these nerve blocks so you will have reduced pain after your procedure.
If you are having surgery on your upper extremity (shoulder, hand, etc) you may receive a nerve block above or below your clavicle (collar bone) that will anesthetize only the arm. Surgery on your lower extremity (e.g. hip, knee, foot) may also receive a nerve block.
Nerve blocks have 2 different varieties. We can do a one-time injection that can last ~36 hours with the latest long-lasting numbing medicines. We can also place a small micro catheter near the nerves to continuously drip numbing medicine for 3 days. Deciding between these 2 options will depends on your particular surgery and medical factors. Nerve blocks are usually performed while the patient is sedated and are well tolerated.
Dr. Aaron Shiraz is a board certified anesthesiologist who specializes in innovative techniques designed to reduce pain without the use of narcotics. After completing his residency in anesthesiology at Emory University in Atlanta, GA in 2011, he completed a fellowship specialization in regional anesthesia (nerve blocks) and acute pain medicine at Columbia University in New York City. Dr. Shiraz also serves on the Speakers Bureau for Halyard Health, as well as the Advisory Board for Pacira Pharmaceuticals. He is frequently an instructor at regional anesthesia workshops.