What is a nerve block? A nerve block is when anesthesiologists numb the nerves in your body. They use this technique for many different procedures, such as surgery or diagnostic tests, e.g., diagnostic imaging.
The nerve block numbs the nerves in your body. This can be done with a local anesthetic or spinal anesthesia, and it is often used for surgery or diagnostics. It is often used when someone needs surgery or a diagnostic procedure.
Anesthesia is often needed before certain surgical procedures that would require cutting into an area where the person has feeling in their body. A nerve block can help to numb these areas and make them feel less pain during the operation.
This article will discuss what to expect when you go in for a nerve block procedure and how it can help make your experience more comfortable.
What is a Nerve Block?
A nerve block is a medical procedure done to numb nerves in your body. This can be for surgery or diagnostic tests that require a patient to lie still and not feel any pain, such as an MRI.
Nerve blocks are typically done with local anesthesia or spinal anesthesia, but there may be side effects, including nausea, vomiting, dizziness, ringing ears, feeling cold all over.
The nerve block is often used during X-rays or CT scans because it makes patients more comfortable and easier to breathe when laying down on their back.
What If You Need a Nerve Block?
You might consider getting one if you have symptoms such as tingling and numbness in your extremities due to the loss of blood flow from compression by either vascular disease or cancer, and you have difficulty walking. There are outpatient or mobile vascular access services that can help you get a nerve block.
Suppose a patient receives an epidural nerve block for labor pain relief or intravenous regional anesthesia during surgery at a local surgery center. In that case, they will usually be in the operating room while lying on their back with their legs slightly bent at the knee and pushed midway up toward their chest. The physician may place padding under the patient’s back if needed.
The Nerve Block Process
A catheter tube can be inserted through your skin into a vein near your spine to administer medications more easily.
The anesthesiologist will then carefully inject local anesthesia into the site, where a needle is inserted near your spine to numbs the spinal cord’s surface. This blocks pain and other sensations from traveling to higher parts of your brain.
A nerve block can be performed without being fully sedated or put under general anesthesia. However, you may feel lightheaded for a few minutes after getting one because they depress some nerves to lower blood pressure during surgery, making patients more susceptible to feeling dizzy than usual.
If this happens while in a lying-down position, there are usually pillows available behind their head should they need support if needed. Many doctors choose not to give any additional medications like opioids before starting with the nerve block. Still, some doctors might give a light dose of morphine intravenously or an opioid to help with pain before starting the nerve block.
Nerve blocks are usually done in different levels on the body: spinal (T-11), lumbar (L-l0), and sacral (S-i). Suppose it is in your lower back/sacral area, most likely. In that case, you will be put under general anesthesia for that portion of surgery as those nerves may not respond well enough without sedating patients first.