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Regional anaesthesia

What is Anesthesia?

Anesthesia is the administration of medications that provides sedation to prevent pain and to provide optimum condition for medical or surgical procedures. The type of anesthesia depends on the type of procedure, personal choice and expertise of your medical team.

What is Regional Anesthesia?

Regional Anesthesia is an anesthetic process in which a region or part of your body will be numbed using numbing medicine injected through a needle.

Types of Regional Anesthesia

The following are the four different types of regional anesthesia:

  • Spinal: In this both the legs up to the waist are numbed by a single injection and a thin needle placed between the bones of your back.
  • Epidural: This is commonly used for child birth, abdominal and chest surgeries. A thin tube will be placed between the bones of the back and an anesthetic will be injected to numb the body in the targeted area. This numbing medicine may continue for hours to days.
  • Peripheral Nerve Block: This numbing medicine is usually given before surgery to provide pain relief after surgery. In this an anesthetic agent is injected directly near a nerve to block pain.
  • Abdominal Wall Block: This numbing medicine is to bathe the nerve that provides sensation to the abdomen by using a needle that is placed in between the inner muscles of abdominal wall using ultrasound guidance.

Surgical procedures amenable for Regional Anesthesia

The following are some of the surgeries that ulitize regional anesthetic technique:

  • Orthopedic surgeries (bone and joint)
  • Gastrointestinal or Hepatic Surgeries
  • Thoracic Surgery
  • Ophthalmology
  • Urology
  • Gynecology

Regional Anesthesia Techniques for Orthopedic Surgery

All types of orthopedic surgeries can be performed using regional anesthesia technique but the choice depends on patient’s preference, health status and the duration of the procedure.

Patients who have undergone orthopedic surgeries with regional anesthesia will have better postoperative pain relief without undue sedation.

Pros and Cons of Regional Anesthesia


  • This technique can be used in all age groups
  • It provides a safer alternative in compromised patients
  • A reduction in post operative mortality and morbidity


  • Head ache may develop following the block procedure
  • Sensory block
  • Soreness or tenderness in the area where the nerve block was administered

Authored By: Dr. S. V. Santpure

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