Local Anesthesia Advantages and Disadvantages

Local anesthesia is a method of delivering pain control medicine to the specific area. It can be done by both ways firstly by injection or secondly by rubbing into the skin to numb an area and its surrounding tissues. It does not make a person unconscious or sleep rather it is helpful in allowing patients to undergo surgical and dental procedures with less pain and distress. It is safer than general anesthesia. In few cases anaesthetist combines both general and local anesthesia techniques. They are easy to administer and readily available too. These local anesthetics have been undergoing developments from many centuries. It is generally given to the person when they are awake. 

There are many advantages and disadvantages of local anesthesia. We will discuss them one by one. 

Benefits of Local Anesthesia 

  • During local anesthesia the patient remains conscious.
  • He maintains his own airway
  • Aspiration of gastric contents unlikely
  • Recovery is smooth as it requires less skilled nursing care as compared to other anesthesia like general anesthesia
  • Postoperative analgesia
  • There is reduction surgical stress
  • Earlier discharge for outpatients
  • Expenses are less

Disadvantages of Local Anesthesia during Pregnancy

  • Sometimes patient may prefer to be asleep
  • It needs a practiced and skilled person for the best results
  • Some blocks require up to 30 min or more to be fully effective
  • It is also possible that analgesia may not always be totally effective. May be the patient requires additional analgesics, IV sedation, or a light general anesthetic.
  • Sometimes toxicity may occur if the local anesthetic is injected intravenously or if the overdose is given
  • Operation like thoracotomies is not suitable for local anesthetics.

This type of anesthesia avoids few risk and unpleasantness associated with other forms of anesthesia like vomiting and nausea. It is associated with less loss of blood. The anesthetic action extends for longer time than required and that provides pain relief for several hours after the surgery. In local anesthesia recovery is fast, patient returns to normal eating, walking and other activities much faster than local anesthesia.

Anesthesia Complications after Surgery

There are some side effects of the local anesthesia like some kind of allergy or redness in the skin. , CNS toxicity which can result in dizziness, visual disturbance, generalised convulsions, tinnitus and eventual coma. Anaphylaxis may also occur. Haemodynamic instability may occur if cardiovascular toxicity occurs. Some other side effects that occur in spinal anesthesia are

  • Limb damage from sensory and motor block
  • Direct damage of nerve
  • Epidural or intrathecal bleed
  • Pain is experienced by 25% patients despite of spinal anesthesia.
  • Respiratory failure if block “too high”
  • Post-dural headache from CSF leak
  • Hypotension and bradycardia through blockade of the sympathetic nervous system
  • Hypothermia