Regional Anesthesia

Regional anesthesia is the technique for delivering the anesthetic agent into a particular nerve or group of nerves to block the transmission. Unlike general anesthesia, it has no impact on the consciousness of the patients. The advantages of regional anesthesia over general anesthesia include reduced doses, rapid recovery, no need for airway manipulation, and earlier initiation of physical therapy for improving movement.

  • Ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia: There is an increasing popularity of ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia for peripheral nerve blockage. Compared to conventional approaches, this technique assists the anesthesiologists with reduced performance times and increased success rates. The other advantages of ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia include needle advancements with precision, real-time visualization of neuronal structures, and effective spreading of local anesthetic agents.
  • Peripheral Nerve Blocks: Peripheral nerve blocks are indicated in surgical procedures that involve the lower and upper extremities. They are also helpful in nonsurgical analgesia. Nerve stimulators and ultrasound guidance techniques are implemented to determine the site of needle or catheter placement. Depending on the location where anesthesia is required, various methods for peripheral nerve blocks are used. The anesthesiologists may deliver the anesthetic agent into a particular nerve or group of nerves or spread the anesthetic agent in between the muscle planes.
  • Labor Epidural Analgesia: Epidural anesthesia is a type of neuraxial anesthesia. It is an effective treatment for managing labor pain. It is performed by administering the needle between the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar vertebrae. The anesthetic agent is delivered into the epidural space, either directly or with a catheter. Once the anesthesiologist chooses the spinal level, the needle is placed between the spinous processes. The needle is then advanced through the skin into the epidural space, crossing the soft tissues and spinal ligaments in between. The anesthetic solution is then administered into the epidural space.


Some types of peripheral nerve blocks include scalp blocks, lower extremity blocks, upper extremity blocks, abdominal nerve blocks, thoracic nerve blocks, cervical plexus blocks, paracervical blocks, and pudendal blocks.

Regional anesthesia may be used before the surgical procedures and to relieve certain types of pain, such as labor pain. The contraindications for this procedure include allergy to anesthetic drugs, a history of coagulopathies, infection at the site of injection, and a history of neurological deficit.

The peripheral nerve block aims to place the anesthetic agent near the nerve. The anesthesiologists may locate the nerve with one or more identification methods. A nerve stimulator is a device used to locate a specific nerve. The device delivers an electric current to the tip of the needle that stimulates the nerve. If the needle is close to the nerve, the response of the muscle is evaluated. Ultrasound guidance may also help locate the nerve, improving the block's success rate. The type of drug used depends on the degree of motor blockage duration, onset of action, and toxicity.