Local Anesthesia for Pain Procedures

Overview

Local anesthesia makes a part of the body numb to prevent a patient from feeling pain during a medical procedure. Local anesthesia is commonly used for many minor outpatient surgeries.

Patient Care and Safety

Before administering local anesthesia, the anesthesia provider will consider the patient’s health, medications, allergies, medical history and past use of anesthesia. This will help the provider decide which type of local anesthesia is best for the patient.

Delivering Local Anesthesia

Local anesthesia can be injected through a needle. It can also be given in a cream or gel. The type of anesthesia used depends on the part of the body being numbed.

After the Procedure

Local anesthesia will wear off within 4-12 hours. The numbness may last until a patient has gone home. A patient who has been given local anesthesia must be careful that they do not accidentally injure the numbed area before the anesthesia wears off. Side effects from local anesthesia are not common.

Conscious Anesthesia for Pain Procedures

Overview

Conscious sedation is a type of anesthesia that makes the patient feel very relaxed. It reduces painful sensations and the awareness of pain. It is not intended to put the patient to sleep, and will wear off quickly after a procedure. Conscious sedation is commonly used for simple procedures that can be completed quickly.

Patient Care and Safety

The type and amount of anesthesia used depends on the patient’s need. An anesthesia provider will consider the patient’s health, medication use, allergies, medical history and past use of anesthesia to decide what is best for the patient. The patient will be monitored closely throughout the procedure.

Delivering the Anesthesia

Conscious sedation may be given to the patient through a needle or an IV. It can also be given orally as a pill. Conscious sedation makes the patient feel relaxed and groggy, and often the patient will fall asleep. A sleeping patient can be awakened easily to respond to questions and commands. The patient will not remember pain from the procedure.

After the Procedure

When the anesthesia wears off, some side effects are common. Patients may feel sleepy and confused. They may have a headache or feel nauseous. These symptoms usually go away quickly