Regional anaesthesia is often used to provide pain relief for the period during, and the hours following, an operation.
Regional anaesthesia is a term used to describe anaesthetising a certain ‘region’ of the body with local anaesthetic rather than anaesthetising the whole body with a general anaesthetic (GA).
Regional anaesthesia can be very specific so that we can anaesthetise (or ‘block’) just the part of the body that is being operated on. The patient can then stay conscious but free from pain, although some sedation or a GA is sometimes administered as well.
Ultrasound guided brachial plexus blocks for arm and hand surgery is a type of regional anaesthesia. To find out more, download the Royal College of Anaesthetists' Nerve blocks for surgery on the shoulder, arm or hand leaflet.
Watch this video to find out about regional anaesthetic block for arm and hand surgery - this is a safe alternative to a general anaesthetic.