Nerve Block involves the injection of a local anaesthetic into the nerves that supply the body area being operated on.
Nerve blocks can be used as a sole form of anaesthetic or combined with sedation or a general anaesthetic to provide excellent pain relief. The operative area should be more comfortable for several hours after your surgery (in some cases for up to 18-24 hours). An Ultrasound machine or nerve stimulator is often employed to guide the needle as close as possible to the nerve reducing the risk of nerve trauma.
In some specific cases, a catheter can be inserted through the needle and left in place in the tissue surrounding the nerve so that local anaesthetic solution can be infused over several days.
- Bruising – If you take blood thinning agents like aspirin, warfarin, clopidogrel (Plavix and Iscover) you are more likely to get a haematoma. These drugs should be discontinued prior to surgery. Your anaesthetist will discuss the issues with you at the pre-operative visit.
- Failure of Block.