Continuous peripheral catheters are another great innovation offered to you by our doctors. They provide you with post-operative pain relief long after your initial dose of pain medicine has worn off. Continuous peripheral nerve infusions involve placement of a small soft threadlike catheter under the skin to supply certain nerve groups with a slow continuous infusion of a local anesthetic similar to novacaine, an anesthetic you might get at a dentist’s office. This catheter is placed at the time you receive your regional nerve block and you will receive sedative medication during its placement to ensure your comfort.
Continuous nerve catheters are placed under ultrasound guidance for added safety to help ensure it goes where it is intended. These innovative catheters may stay in place for a few days and provide continuous pain relief after your surgery. They offer the benefit of superior pain relief compared to oral and intravenous pain medications but without nausea and vomiting. These catheters also improve your ability to participate in physical therapy so you can get on your way to recovery. Many times these catheters are connected to a disposable medication delivery device called on On Q Pain Relief System. These catheters are secured by tape and can be removed painlessly by the patient. This can be further discussed with your Anesthesiologist.
As will all procedures, regional anesthesia blocks and catheters carry a small risk of complications. These incidents are rare but include infection, nerve damage, and bleeding. These risks should be discussed with your anesthesiologist prior to your procedure.