WellSpan Home

Peripheral Nerve Blocks for Anesthesia

Topic Overview

Peripheral nerve blocks are a type of regional anesthesia. The anesthetic is injected near a specific nerve or bundle of nerves to block sensations of pain from a specific area of the body.

Nerve blocks usually last longer than local anesthesia. They are most commonly used for surgery on the arms and hands, the legs and feet, or the face.

Positioning of the needle during a nerve block may result in touching the nerve to be blocked with the tip of the needle. When this occurs, you may experience a sharp sensation like an electrical shock in the part of the body supplied by the nerve. Be sure to let your anesthesiologist know if you feel such a sensation.

Other medicines are often given with nerve blocks to make you relaxed or sleepy (sedatives) or to reduce pain. These are usually given as a pill or through a vein (intravenously, IV).

People are carefully watched during the procedure, because the anesthetics used for regional nerve blocks may affect the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and respiratory system (airway and lungs) and may affect blood pressure, breathing, heartbeat, and other vital functions.

Nerve blocks may be most useful when the procedure:

  • Can be confined to a specific region of the body that can be anesthetized with a nerve block.
  • Involves large surface areas of the body where injection with a large volume of local anesthetic might cause side effects that affect the whole body.
  • Involves an area of the body where injection of a local anesthetic would cause distortions that might cause problems with the surgery, such as the face.
  • Can be done in a relatively short time. Nerve blocks may not last long enough for some procedures.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerJohn M. Freedman, MD - Anesthesiology

Current as ofMay 16, 2017


Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×