Two types of anaesthetic can be proposed for upper limb surgery: regional anaesthetic (which consists in numbing only the arm) and general anaesthetic (puts the patient completely to sleep).
Regional anaesthetic which consists in numbing only the arm.
The advantage here is to avoid putting the patient completely to sleep and thus it avoids the risks linked to this type of anesthetic, in addition to creating more comfortable post-operation conditions.
This technique involves injecting an anaesthetic directly into the nerves at the root of the arm. Sedatives may be used for the more anxious patients who prefer to remain semi-alert during surgery. This is the type of anaesthetic generally used for operations on the elbow, wrist or hand and occasionnally for certain procedures concerning the shoulders.
The general anaesthetic puts the patient completely to sleep. This is the sort of anaesthetic I usually propose for operations on the shoulder, or when bone extraction at the pelvis is necessary.
The anaesthetists will be happy to explain the various possibilities in detail during the pre-operation consultation and will, of course, be at your disposal to answer any questions. The whole team is particularly experienced in the regional anaesthetic techniques specific to upper limb and hand surgery.