If you are considering having a surgical procedure in a doctor’s office or minor surgery center or if you are actually scheduled to have a procedure in the near future, there are a few things to consider before a scalpel ever touches your skin.
It makes sense when you consider that NO ONE would consent to any surgical procedure if the surgeon said, “I am going to put in some pain medicine before we get started but it will relieve half the pain.” No, local anesthesia must make the area you are operating on COMPLETELY numb so zero pain is felt during the procedure. That’s surgical common sense rule #1.
But I have had patients tell me that the injection of the lidocaine (the most common local anesthesia) was the worse thing about the whole minor surgical procedure. So here’s rule #2: The person who administers the local anesthesia must be experienced with lidocaine infiltration and must have felt the sting of inappropriate administration of lidocaine themselves. Local anesthesia infiltration requires knowledge of a few simple rules about needles, speed of injection, and neutralizing the lidocaine but empathy may be the most important rule to practice.
And finally, common sense surgery rule #3: The person who gives the local anesthesia should be the same person who does the operation and they should never be in a hurry! Seems too obvious.
Anesthesia is very important and should be taken seriously. Every patient is concerned about pain during an office procedure so local anesthesia is as important as the procedure itself. It’s good to give patients a reason to talk about their operation but pain should never be the reason they are talking!