What is Regional Anesthesia?
Regional anesthesia entails rendering a specific area of the body (e.g. foot, arm, chest, abdomen) insensate to stimulus of surgery or other instrumentation. This can be accomplished with either the use of neuraxial anesthetics (i.e. spinals and/or epidurals) or via peripheral neural blockade. With these pain relieving procedures, patients can be spared the numerous side effects of excessive parenteral opiates. In addition, regional anesthesia increases patient satisfaction, aids in rehabilitation and decreases length of stay.
Regional Anesthesia at Washington University
The division employs the latest techniques in regional anesthesia to address the acute pain needs of our patients including truncal blockade (paravertebral, TAP, blockade) as well as continuous peripheral nerve catheter infusions. With three block residents per rotation we perform approximately 250 regional anesthetic procedures per month. These blocks are performed via both ultrasound and nerve stimulation technique. Procedural experience is acquired in both the inpatient and outpatient populations. This experience is fortified through didactics, simulation workshops, and one-to-one bedside teaching.