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Regional anesthesia uses medicines to block pain from an area of the body, such as an arm or leg or the belly. It's used in many procedures. Examples of some procedures include hand or foot surgeries and total joint replacements of the knee, hip, or shoulder. It may also be used during childbirth.
There are several types of regional anesthesia. They can be given near the spine, near a nerve, or in a vein.
Regional anesthesia can also help relieve pain after surgery. It can reduce your need for other pain medicine.
Serious side effects aren't common. But if nerve damage happens, it can cause long-term numbness, weakness, or pain.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: June 8, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:John M. Freedman MD - Anesthesiology & Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine & Donald Sproule MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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