Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nerve-block Anesthesia Can Improve Surgical Recovery, Even Outcomes

Date:
August 5, 2009
Source:
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center
Summary:
When planning for surgery, patients too often don't consider the kind of anesthesia they will receive. In fact, the choice of anesthesia can improve recovery, even outcomes.

When planning for surgery, patients too often don't consider the kind of anesthesia they will receive. In fact, the choice of anesthesia can improve recovery, even outcomes.

Related Articles


Regional nerve blocks, an anesthesia technique available at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, are known to improve pain relief, reduce side effects and allow patients to go home sooner when compared with general anesthesia. With the introduction of ultrasound guidance, nerve blocks have become more accurate, making the technique available in the treatment of an increasing variety of conditions, including breast cancer surgery.

Dr. Anthony Robin Brown is director of the Division of Regional Anesthesia at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.

"Nerve blocks target a specific area of the body, such as an arm or chest. With this approach, patients can avoid the downsides of general anesthesia during surgery and opioid-based medications used to control pain during recovery. The upshot is fewer instances of nausea, confusion, sedation (sleepiness) and pain, and a quicker recovery," says Dr. Brown, who is clinical professor of anesthesiology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. "If patients prefer, they can remain awake during surgery and watch the procedure as it happens on video monitors. They also have the option of sedation that puts them to sleep."

Another potentially major advantage: Preliminary published research indicates that nerve blocks could help prevent the recurrence of cancer[1]. The theory is that the stress of surgery can weaken the immune system, making recurrence more likely. General anesthesia and opioid-based medications only mask surgical stress. In contrast, nerve blocks work directly on the area of the body where the surgery is taking place. This prevents the initiation of the surgical stress response, with the result that the immune system function is not compromised.

Dr. Tiffany Tedore is director of the Division of Regional Anesthesia at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. She is leading a clinical research study comparing nerve blocks with general anesthesia for breast cancer surgery to see which approach results in better pain control, fewer side effects and quicker recovery.

"Traditionally, breast cancer surgery has involved two kinds of anesthesia -- local anesthetic and sedation for biopsy, followed by general anesthesia for larger procedures such as mastectomy. Our study is looking at the benefits of replacing general anesthesia with a nerve block," says Dr. Tedore, who is also assistant professor of anesthesiology at Weill Cornell Medical College. "I anticipate our future studies will also look at cancer control."

Regional nerve blocks involve injecting a local anesthetic like ropivacaine alongside a specific nerve or nerve bundle, such as the brachial plexus in the neck. The local anesthetic is absorbed into the nerve, where it blocks sodium channels, disabling its electrical-like action potential. This inhibits pain and causes a lack of sensation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Barbara Biki. Anesthetic Technique for Radical Prostatectomy Surgery Affects Cancer Recurrence. Anesthesiology, 109, no. 2 (2008)
  2. Aristomenis K. Exadaktylos. Can anesthetic technique for primary breast cancer surgery affect recurrence or metastais? Anesthesiology, 105, no. 4 (2006)

Cite This Page:

New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. "Nerve-block Anesthesia Can Improve Surgical Recovery, Even Outcomes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090804145614.htm>.
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. (2009, August 5). Nerve-block Anesthesia Can Improve Surgical Recovery, Even Outcomes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 2, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090804145614.htm
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. "Nerve-block Anesthesia Can Improve Surgical Recovery, Even Outcomes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090804145614.htm (accessed April 2, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 1, 2015) Israeli scientists says laser bonding of tissue allows much faster healing and less scarring. Amy Pollock has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone have been busy fighting the menace created by the deadly Ebola virus, but illicit drug lords have taken advantage of the situation to advance the drug trade. Duration: 01:12 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The Indian government declared victory over leprosy in 2005, but the disease is making a comeback in some parts of the country, with more than a hundred thousand lepers still living in colonies, shunned from society. Duration: 02:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins