Intravenous (IV) Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA)
Patient controlled analgesia (PCA) is a pain control technique that allows the patient to control their pain, by pressing a button. The pump delivers a small amount of medicine through an IV. Safety features on the pump are set to limit you from getting too much medication, and nurses will monitor you closely. You are the only person who is allowed to push the button. Family, friends, and nurses are not allowed to push the button for you.
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Epidural analgesia is often used for surgeries involving the chest and bowels. A small tube is placed between the bones in the back, into the epidural space. A dressing is applied to the tube to keep it in place, and the other end is attached to a pump. The pump delivers a controlled amount of medication continuously. The types of medications used for this procedure include local anesthetic (freezing) and opioids, and they work to decrease sensations to a specific area so you do not experience pain. Epidurals are usually in place for 2-5 days.
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Spinal (Intrathecal) Anesthesia
This type of anesthesia is often used for surgeries involving hips, knees, and the lower abdomen. A small needle is inserted between the bones in the back, into the fluid that surrounds the spinal cord. Anesthetic medication is injected into this space, and the needle is removed. The types of medications used for this procedure are local anesthetic (freezing) and opioids. This procedure works to block pain sensations after surgery, and it is normal to not be able to move your legs for up to 4 hours following the procedure.
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Local anesthetic (freezing) is given through a needle to block the nerves to the shoulder, arm, leg, foot, chest, or abdomen, to stop pain sensations. Nerve blocks can be a single dose or continuous. A single dose nerve block can last between 12-24 hours. A continuous nerve block involves inserting a small tube near the nerves to a certain area. The tube is secured to the skin with a dressing, and is attached to a pump. The pump delivers a controlled amount of anesthetic continuously. Continuous nerve blocks are usually in place for 2-3 days.
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| Type of Block
|| Interscalene Block
| Femoral Block
|| Popliteal Fossa Block
|| Transverse Abdominus
Plain (TAP) Block
| Area Affected
||Shoulder, upper arm
||Lower arm, elbow, hand
The APS team will work with each patient to develop the best plan of care relative to their unique needs. The team also offers expertise with multimodal oral analgesics that can be used alongside other pain management modalities. Examples of oral analgesics include:
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s)
- Other (local anesthetics, anticonvulsants, antidepressants)