Anaesthetic - Wide Awake or Asleep...
Patients are encouraged to make their own choice when deciding on what type of anaesthetic to have. Wide Awake Surgery has been around for many years and is a particularly good option for hand surgery. Broadly there are 3 types of anaesthetic :
1. General Anaesthetic (GA)- asleep and unconscious. Some patients would much rather be unaware during their surgery. If bone graft is required from the pelvis then a GA would be recommended.
2. Local anaesthetic – infiltration with local anaesthetic resulting in the operative site being numb (as opposed to the whole upper limb). 99.8% of my carpal tunnel decompressions are performed this way.
3. Regional anaesthesia – local anaesthetic is injected into the axilla and the whole arm and hand becomes numb. The patient is wide awake but can be given some sedation if preferred.