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Open Carpal Tunnel Release Anesthesia Choices

Clip Number: 7 of 24
Presentation: Carpal Tunnel Release - Open
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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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Anesthesia is used to eliminate the pain felt during a procedure. For this procedure, the two most common types are regional or general anesthesia.
With regional anesthesia, your anesthesia provider can inject numbing medication to numb your entire arm and wrist. This is called an "axillary block." When the anesthesia is injected, you may feel a burning sensation that lasts for a short period of time. During the procedure and after the numbness has taken effect, you will also receive additional medication through your IV to relax you and make you feel sleepy. Although the regional anesthesia will take away all sensation of pain, you might still feel some pressure and movement during the procedure.
The other option is general anesthesia. This type uses medication to put you into a deep sleep so that you are not aware of any pain, pressure, or movement during the procedure.
In order to do this, you will first be asked to breathe through an oxygen mask. Then you will be given medications through your IV, which will cause you to feel pleasantly relaxed and slowly drift off to sleep. After you are sound asleep, a breathing tube will be placed into your windpipe to assist with your breathing throughout the operation. Your anesthesia care team will give you other medications as required during your procedure through your IV and/or breathing tube.
You will talk to the anesthesia provider prior to the surgery, and any questions or concerns you have regarding the choice or effects of the anesthesia can be discussed at that time.

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