Many procedures in my practice can be performed with local anaesthesia alone. This avoids the use of sedation or general anaesthesia. This technique — known as Wide-Awake Local Anaesthesia, No Tourniquet (WALANT) is particularly useful for procedures such as tendon repair, carpal tunnel release, trigger finger release or mass removal.
The key to performing WALANT surgery is lidocaine with epinephrine. Lidocaine is the same drug that dentists use in their office to control pain. With enough lidocaine procedures can be performed without the patient experiencing any pain. When we mix epinephrine with the lidocaine the pain relief lasts even longer, and the epinephrine constricts the surrounding blood vessels and thus controls bleeding. Because there is very little bleeding, we don't need to use a tourniquet which is often uncomfortable for the patient.
Come speak with us regarding doing your hand procedure using our wide awake hand surgery techniques. WALANT is not for everyone. Some patients are more comfortable being asleep for their procedure. Others prefer some light sedation in addition to the lidocaine. Both of these options are perfectly fine as well, and offer some patients the "best of both worlds."