3-D Ultrasound Helps Block Nerve Function -- MEDICA Trade Fair

3-D Ultrasound Helps Block Nerve Function

This can be done prior to surgery, an advance that may spare patients from use of general anaesthesia and send them home faster and with less need for pain medication. Mayo anaesthesiologists have demonstrated the benefits of real-time 3-D ultrasound in nerve blockade in more than 150 surgeries of varied types. This next-era ultrasound imaging technology may assist in peripheral nerve block placement - the technique of disabling targeted nerves so that a patient doesn’t feel pain from surgery.

Their latest case study describes how they used 3-D ultrasound to find the sciatic nerve behind the thigh of a woman who needed major reconstructive surgery on her foot. Using the imaging technique to help physicians place a catheter filled with local anaesthetic next to the nerve, they numbed it to block pain signals from being transmitted to the brain of the patient, who was sedated.

When the brain doesn’t know surgery is under way because the nerve is inactivated, it doesn’t mount the kind of systematic pain response that keeps patients medicated and in their beds, says anaesthesiologist Steven Clendenen, M.D., who helped develop use of the technique at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville.

“Now we can find the nerve we want in real-time 3-D, guide our needle right next to it, then watch as anaesthesia is released and surrounds the nerve, inactivating it,” Neil Feinglass, M.D, Mayo Clinic says. “No one thought peripheral regional blocks could be done in real-time 3-D, and we believe we are the first in the world to really do it.”

MEDICA.de; Source: Mayo Clinic