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Regional anesthesia at home

Cheng, Gloria S; Choy, Lynna P; Ilfeld, Brian M

Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology: August 2008 - Volume 21 - Issue 4 - p 488–493
doi: 10.1097/ACO.0b013e328303bfb5
Anesthesia outside the operating room: Edited by Francis Bonnet

Purpose of review To review the recently published peer-reviewed literature involving regional anesthesia and analgesia in patients at home.

Recent findings The potential benefits and risks of regional anesthesia and analgesia at home are pertinent queries, and increased data regarding these topics are rapidly becoming available. Of particular interest is the use of continuous peripheral nerve blocks at home and their potential effect upon hospitalization duration and recovery profile.

Summary Advantages of regional techniques include site-specific anesthesia and decreased postoperative opioid use. For shoulder surgeries, the interscalene block provides effective analgesia with minimal complications, whereas the impact and risks of intraarticular injections remain unclear. Perineural catheters are an analgesic option that offer improved pain relief among other benefits. They are now being used at home in both adult and pediatric populations.

Department of Anesthesiology, University of California San Diego, San Diego, California, USA

Correspondence to Brian M. Ilfeld, MD, MS, Department of Anesthesiology, UCSD Center for Pain Medicine, 9300 Campus Point Dr, MC 7651, La Jolla, CA 92037-7651, USA Tel: +1 858 543 5742; fax: +1 603 258 7782; e-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.