The Mass General Orthopaedic Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) Anesthesia Department is made up of anesthesiologists, certified registered nurse anesthetists and a rotating senior Mass General anesthesia resident.

Our goal at the ASC is to make your anesthetic and surgical experience the safest it can be and to discharge you home in the most comfortable manner possible.

During your pre-operative visit with your surgeon, you may discuss the different anesthetic options for your surgery, and you will be instructed by the office to fill out pre-surgical questionnaire online through your Patient Gateway account. We prefer this to be done prior to your pre-op nursing and anesthesia evaluations. Regardless, three to five days prior to your scheduled procedure, you will receive a phone call from a nurse. If regional anesthesia, also known as a nerve block, is an option for your surgery, you will also receive a call from an anesthesiologist.

There are several different options available for orthopaedic surgical procedures including general anesthesia, MAC (local anesthesia with IV sedation), IV regional anesthesia (Bier Block), regional anesthesia (nerve block) or a combination of the options. The type of anesthesia you will receive for your surgical procedure will be dependent on the several factors: the particular surgical procedure, the surgeon's preference for that procedure, your medical condition, the anesthesiologist's recommendation and the patient's preference.

Types of Anesthesia

Listed below are the different types of anesthesia we use at the Ambulatory Surgery Center.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is an anesthetic technique in which the patient's body cannot feel surgical pain and the patient is totally unconscious. It may be used as the primary anesthetic or in conjunction with a regional anesthesia based on the surgeon or the patient's preference.

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Sedation

At the ASC, sedation plays an important role in making your anesthetic and surgical experience less stressful. The anesthesiologist will use IV sedation either during the performance of a regional block or in the OR during the surgical procedure.

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Regional Anesthesia

Regional anesthesia, also known as a nerve block, is an anesthetic technique in which a part or area of the patient's body is made numb (put to sleep) using a local anesthetic or numbing medicine. Because orthopedic surgeries involve the extremities, (e.g. shoulder to hand or hip to foot) regional anesthesia can be a good anesthetic option.

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Types of Regional Anesthesia

Adductor Canal/Saphenous Nerve Block

The adductor canal/saphenous nerve block is a regional anesthetic technique used in conjunction with general anesthesia for ACL reconstruction surgery, tibial osteotomies and other more painful complex surgeries involving the knee joint. Some surgeons prefer it over a femoral nerve block because it is purely a sensory nerve block, providing good pain relief, and there is no weakness of the muscles associated with it.

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Ankle Block

The ankle block is a regional anesthetic technique used in conjunction with sedation or a light general anesthesia for surgeries of the foot.

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Axillary Block

The axillary block is a regional anesthetic technique used in conjunction with sedation or a light general anesthesia for surgeries of the elbow, forearm, wrist and hand.

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Bier Block

The Bier Block or IV Regional is a regional anesthetic technique used for surgery of the forearm, wrist and hand. Unlike the other regional techniques the Bier block or IV regional is a short lasting regional technique and is performed in the operating room itself.

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Femoral Nerve Block

The femoral nerve block is a regional anesthetic technique occasionally used in conjunction with general anesthesia for ACL reconstruction surgery, tibial osteotomies and other more painful complex surgeries involving the knee joint.

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Infraclavicular Block

The infraclavicular block is a regional anesthetic technique used in conjunction with sedation or a light general anesthesia for surgeries of the upper arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand.

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Interscalene Block

The interscalene block is a regional anesthetic technique usually used in conjunction with sedation or a light general anesthesia for surgeries of the shoulder and upper arm.

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Popliteal Block

The popliteal nerve block is a regional anesthetic technique used in conjunction with sedation or a light general anesthesia for surgery of the lower leg, ankle and foot.

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