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Anesthesiology

Get Back to Normal Faster

After your surgery, it's important that your pain is managed. When you’re not in pain, you may sleep better, move around sooner and may get your normal appetite back quicker so you feel better faster.

There are several major ways that pain is managed after surgery. The most traditional is the use of narcotics like morphine. These drugs can cause unpleasant side effects such as nausea, drowsiness, constipation and difficulty breathing. Our Anesthesia Team at The Medical Center utilizes cutting edge techniques in managing pain that can dramatically reduce or even stop the need for these drugs. This important new type of pain management is called Regional Nerve Block and has proven to be a highly effective modality for controlling the postoperative pain associated with many types of procedures such as knee and hip replacement surgery. We are committed to using the latest in ultrasound and imaging technology to achieve this end. Through non-narcotic based regional techniques, our primary objectives are to optimize patient satisfaction and safety.

Using a special procedure, under light sedation, a member of the Anesthesia Team places a small tube (catheter) in close proximity to select nerves leading to the surgical site. This procedure is usually done right before your surgery. The pain pump is a small high-tech disposable device that holds local anesthetic (a pain numbing medication) and delivers it through a tiny specially-designed tube. The pain pump soaks the nerve pathway to create a numbing effect, similar to your dentist injecting novocaine into your mouth. The medication is only directed into the area where you have pain, the rest of your body stays in your normal, comfortable state. In some cases, it may be left in place for up to five days.

The result? Your pain is managed and you avoid the nausea, breathing problems, drowsiness, grogginess, constipation or sleepiness - all of which are side effects of narcotic painkillers.