Many people worry about going under general anaesthetic before an operation, however most do not realise that for some operations there is an alternative option. Nick Ferran – Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon offers ‘Awake’ surgery for patients undergoing certain shoulder and elbow operations.
Mr Ferran recently performed a shoulder operation on a patient using a regional anaesthetic block rather than using traditional general anaesthetic. After the operation we spoke to both Nick and the patient.
What are the benefits of doing the surgery in this way?
There are less risks of stroke for the patient as they are sat up under anaesthetic. No post-operative nausea, and early discharge. There is also the benefit of the patient understanding their operation and injury.
How did the surgery go?
The surgery was a success. Dr Rebecca Smith ensured that the patient was relaxed and comfortable throughout the experience.
Why did you do it at the Lister?
I did it at the Lister because it is a centre that aspires to excellence and has been supportive is developing a service to deliver awake upper limb surgery as an option for patients. At the Lister we also have a team of anaesthetists that have a special interest in regional anaesthesia.
Would you, or do you, do other surgeries with the patient awake?
I do most of my operations with the patient awake although not every procedure or patient can be done awake.
How did you feel during the operation?
The anaesthesiologist and Nick were both fantastic, I was aware of the situation but there was no pain, they were all very calming and I was not concerned throughout the procedure. Nick was reassuring throughout.
I could step down from the operating table, and eat straight after the operation. There was no worrying moment of disorientation coming around from general anaesthetic. I knew the operation had gone well as I had been conscious throughout. There was no fear of not knowing if it had been a success or not.
There was no pain for at least 24 hours afterwards and I could sleep the entire night. So far the recovery has been excellent!
Why did you want to do the surgery this way?
I wanted to avoid going under general anaesthetic and because of that I had been putting off the operation. I didn’t know this was an option until I met Nick, he was incredibly enthusiastic about it and explained clearly all the benefits to me of doing this way.
Would you recommend this to other patients?
For more information about Mr Nick Ferran, or to book an appointment with him please call 0207 164 6312 or visit his website – www.shoulderandelbowlondon.com