Local anesthesia is a technique to deliver pain control medication to the specific area. It can be done by either rubbing or injecting into the skin to make the area numb as well as the tissues around it. Local anesthesia does not make a person sleepy or relieve from other pains. It can be used with other medications that have properties to relax or provide deep pain relief. It is helpful in allowing patients to undergo surgical and dental procedures with less pain and distress. It is used in many situations like caesarean section, it is much safer and that is why it is better than general anesthesia. Sometimes anaesthetist is a combination of both local and general anesthesia techniques.
Earlier the leaves of the coca plant were used as a stimulant in Peru. It is said that coca was very popular and used for medical purposes. Cocaine got isolated in the year 1860 and then first used as a local anaesthetic in 1884. In 1904 the search for a less toxic and less addictive substitute led to the development of the aminoster local anaesthetic procaine. Then many anaesthetic medicines were used later like lidocaine in 1943, bupivacaine in 1957 and prilocaine in 1959.
It is better than systematic anesthetics that are used whenever possible. They are also easy to administer and readily available too. There has been a lot of development of local anesthetics since centuries.
Local anesthetics are usually given to the patients when they are awake, may be in the anaesthetic room or in operating room. The amount and dose of the anaesthetic depends on many things like type of surgery, dose you need and your physical conditions. Local anesthesia is given to the patient close to the area of operation. It can be done by numbing the area of the skin before anything sharp is inserted like cannula for a drip.
Intravenous regional blocks
Extradural and spinal anesthetics
Different types of medicines are used in local anesthesia for different operations and also for different time period like lignocaine are used for the duration of action 1 to 2 hours, buivicaine is used for duration more than 3 hours, prilocaine, EMLA cream (consists of a mixture of local anesthetics – lidocaine and prilocaine. This duration of action can also be doubled with the addition of another medicine called epinephrine. Epinephrine (adrenaline) gradually leads to vasoconstriction and therefore slows down the absorption of the local anaesthetic. It is important to tell your real physical conditions to the doctor and the anaesthetist. Do not hide anything or any medicine that you take without medical prescription. It can create problem.