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Anesthesia

Sedation necesary for carpal tunnel surgery?

12/05/2007

Question:

I need to have carpal tunnel release done on both hands; I have heard that it can be done without sedation (which I am scared to death of) with just some sort of "block", while others have told me that some sort of sedation must be addded.....I had a terrible reaction to "conscious sedation" before and could never do it again...........the pain is getting unbearable at night and the EMG/NCV tests have caused my doctor to refer me for surgery; which I would love to have if it can be done without sedation. Any help will be really appreciated.

Answer:

Carpal tunnel surgery can be done without sedation. Your surgeon can inject local anesthetic into the area as he works ("local"). Alternatively, an intravenous regional block ("Bier block") is very effective. Neither of these techniques require sedation, although in the majority of circumstances some sedation would be given to make the experience more comfortable. If you are sure you don't want the sedation it is likely that your anesthesiologist and surgeon will accommodate your request.

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Response by:

Gareth S Kantor, MD Gareth S Kantor, MD
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University