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Wide-Awake Hand Surgery Now Available at Excelsior

February 13th, 2018 11:51am

If you’ve never heard of wide-awake hand surgery, it’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like. And yes, that may seem intimidating at first, but when implemented correctly, this new surgical technique provides patients with higher satisfaction and simplifies the pre-operative preparation prior to the day of surgery. This offers an alternative option to patients for many very common hand conditions/surgeries that previously required anesthesia, which is why our team of surgeons brought the technique to Excelsior.

What is Wide Awake Hand Surgery?

Wide-awake hand surgery is an operation performed on the hand or wrist that occurs without sedating the patient using general anesthesia. It is commonly referred to as WALANT, which stands for Wide Awake Local Anesthesia No Tourniquet technique.

The surgery is performed by using a combination of lidocaine and epinephrine to provide anesthesia and hemostasis to the surgical area – numbing it and preventing bleeding. This is very similar to how a dentist would numb and prepare an area in the mouth before performing a dental procedure such as a tooth pulling or cavity filling. The medications are very safe and provide a better alternative to more involved techniques of general anesthesia or the use of a tourniquet to prevent bleeding.

The rest of the surgery is pretty much the same as it would be normally – except for the fact that the patient is awake. You’ll be unable to feel any of the procedure as it happens, of course, but if you so desire, you may watch your surgical team as they work and interact with your surgeon, which is a revolution for this kind of procedure.

Why is This Better?

Ultimately, the WALANT technique is all about maximizing positive outcomes for the patient. Use of general anesthetic can be dangerous for certain patients, and has obvious drawbacks affecting a patient’s experience on surgery day. This technique also provides an alternative to the use of a tourniquet, which can be uncomfortable for the patient and can create soreness and other effects after the procedure is complete.

In addition, the surgery becomes much cheaper and less time consuming when you cut out the added costs and testing necessary to use general anesthesia. This also eliminates the need to fast before the procedure and offers a significantly quicker recovery time on the day of surgery.

Now Available at Excelsior

After seeing extensive research on this technique and the positive outcomes it provides, our team of hand surgeons has brought this procedure to WNY and made it available at Excelsior. For more information, make an appointment to consult with one of our doctors. Our team will assess your hand or wrist condition and provide you with education and recommendations to help you make the right medical choices and decide if WALANT is a good solution for you. 


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