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Anesthesia

Can a PTFE

05/20/2008

Question:

Can a PTFE graft be put in my right arm with a nerve block? My doctor says the anesthetist wants to do a general. I`m scared to death of a general. My dad almost swallowed his tounge. My mother had heart troubles with her general and could not wake up. Please let me know. Oh, I`m on dialysis.

Answer:

A nerve block is possible for this type of surgical procedure. Usually this is some form of brachial plexus block, which involves the insertion of a needle in the neck or under the collar bone. Intravenous sedation is commonly given along with the block. These blocks are not always 100% successful....meaning that some patients need a general anesthetic when the nerve block does not provide sufficient anesthesia. As with any form of anesthesia, or medical therapy for that matter, there are potential side effects and complications that include a small percentage of nerve injury that almost always recovers. A successful block depends on the skill and experience of the anesthesiologist, and the patient having suitable anatomy. Usually either a nerve stimulator or an ultrasound device is used to help find the nerve plexus to be blocked. Patients on dialysis have a chronic medical condition and it is recommended that your anesthesiologist have full access to the medical history, including previous anesthesia, laboratory results, etc. Ideally you get to see or talk to your anesthesiologist ahead of time to discuss your anesthesia options.

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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