Skip to content

Peripheral Nerve Blocks for Anesthesia

Font Size

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.

Recommended Related to Health A-Z

Lysosomal Free Sialic Acid Storage Disorders

Important It is possible that the main title of the report Lysosomal Free Sialic Acid Storage Disorders is not the name you expected.

Read the Lysosomal Free Sialic Acid Storage Disorders article > >

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.
1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 04, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Peripheral Nerve Blocks for Anesthesia Topics

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

feet
Solutions for 19 types.
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
pregnancy test and calendar
Helping you get pregnant.
man rubbing painful knee
A visual guide.
lone star tick
How to identify that bite.
woman standing behind curtains
How it affects you.
brain scan with soda
Tips to avoid complications.
row of colored highlighter pens
Tips for living better.
human lungs
Symptoms, causes, treatments.
woman dreaming
What Do Your Dreams Say About You?
two male hands
Test your knowledge.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.