Suprascapular Blocks

Trends are evolving in decreasing intraoperative and postoperative opioid use.  Therefore, anesthesiologists are constantly learning new regional techniques to help with postoperative pain.  For shoulder surgeries, I’ve moved away from interscalene blocks toward supraclavicular blocks.  I think the interscalene block provides a better block of a total shoulder surgery, however, certain patient comorbidities often make the supraclavicular block a better choice.

Nice paper from Anesthesiology, Dec 2017: Suprascapular and Interscalene Nerve Block for Shoulder Surgery: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Anesthesiology 12 2017, Vol.127, 998-1013.

Nowadays, it seems that suprascapular blocks are gaining in popularity (I’d probably use it to supplement the supraclavicular block.

Supplies and Technique (from USRA):

Suprascapular Nerve

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How to position the ultrasound probe:

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From USRA

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Ultrasound Image

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From USRA.  SSM = supraspinatus muscle
SSA = suprascapular artery
SSN = suprascapular nerve
TZM = trapezius muscle
STSL = superior transverse scapular ligament

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Useful Links


Update: June 19, 2018

Comparison of Anterior Suprascapular, Supraclavicular, and Interscalene Nerve Block Approaches for Major Outpatient Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery: A Randomized, Double-blind, Noninferiority Trial. Anesthesiology 7 2018, Vol.129, 47-57.

PEEP Alone Atelectasis
From Anesthesiology, July 2018
  • Conclusions: The anterior suprascapular block, but not the supraclavicular, provides noninferior analgesia compared to the interscalene approach for major arthroscopic shoulder surgery. Pulmonary function is best preserved with the anterior suprascapular nerve block.

The physician anesthesiologist vs. CRNA debate

Why is this even a debate?

It seems to me that the CRNA-led debate is financial… once you tease through all the fluff.

So here’s some literature I found:

As an anesthesiologist, I work in an MD-only anesthesia group. This is by choice: I prefer doing my own cases and being responsible for my own liabilities. The times I have required an anesthetic, I have requested a physician anesthesiologist. As a resident, I had very good insurance coverage, so I wanted a physician for my surgery. At that time, I was ok with having a resident anesthesiologist paired with an attending anesthesiologist for my case. My second surgery was done at my current hospital, and we only have MD anesthesiologists. Perhaps I’m biased? I know and I understand the path/journey/training it takes to get to become a physician anesthesiologist. I want someone who is well-trained, independently thinks, vigilant, and knowledgeable.

I’m sure there are great CRNAs out there… but when I was a resident… we used to supervise CRNAs in our final training year…. and it was scary some of things they would do. Who extubates from a trach R&R on 30% FiO2? Yeah, that particular CRNA told me they had 30 years experience. 30 years experience of doing something wrong doesn’t equate to 30 years of knowledgeable experience. And let’s not forget that CRNAs need a 15 minute morning break, 30 minute lunch break, and 15 minute afternoon break and they go home when their “shift” ends (even if it’s in the middle of a complex case). I take a break when I can… I eat lunch and take a bathroom break when I can…. and I choose to stay and finish complex cases for better continuity of care.

Would you want a nurse practitioner or physician assistant solely performing your surgery without a surgeon? I know I would NOT. I think there’s plenty of room for teamwork in healthcare. This is how to improve hospital efficiency and patient care. My fear is if CRNAs gain independence for purely financial reasons. But then, they will have to carry their own liability, cover their own breaks, take night call and discover that they had it so good in a healthcare team.

Opinions from other physician anesthesiologists:

 

Bottom line in my opinion:

  • Physicians endure years of grueling medical education that starts with the why, how, and treatment of disease. This is followed with years of residency training specifically in anesthesia. There’s also further training in the form of a fellowship for specialized fields.
  • Getting into medical school is an extremely competitive process. You take the top 1% of college graduates and high MCAT scores to get into medical school.  The board certification for becoming certified in anesthesiology is quite complex and difficult in both the written and oral board exams.
  • I will continue to be FOR team-based physician-led anesthesia care.

Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS)

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Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols: Time to change practice? Can Urol Assoc J. 2011 Oct; 5(5): 342–348.

Dario Bugada, Valentina Bellini, Andrea Fanelli, et al., “Future Perspectives of ERAS: A Narrative Review on the New Applications of an Established Approach,” Surgery Research and Practice, vol. 2016, Article ID 3561249, 6 pages, 2016. doi:10.1155/2016/3561249

Enhanced Recovery After Surgery: If You Are Not Implementing it, Why Not? PRACTICAL GASTROENTEROLOGY • APRIL 2016.

A Systematic Review of Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Pathways: How Are We Measuring ‘Recovery?’  Session: Poster Presentation. Program Number: P613

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Sturm L and Cameron AL. Fast-track surgery and enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) programs. ASERNIP-S Report No. 74. Adelaide, South Australia: ASERNIP-S, March 2009.

Summary of Enhanced Recovery after Surgery Guideline Recommendations. Canada.

Patients Benefit From Enhanced Recovery Programs: Are Better Prepared for Surgery, Have Less Pain, Studies Show. Oct 2016. American Society of Anesthesiologists.

Enhanced Recovery after Surgery Guideline: Perioperative Pain Management in Patients Having Elective Colorectal Surgery: A Quality Initiative of the Best Practice in General Surgery Part of CAHO’s ARTIC program. April 2013.

Preserved Analgesia With Reduction in Opioids Through the Use of an Acute Pain Protocol in Enhanced Recovery After Surgery for Open Hepatectomy. Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine: July/August 2017 – Volume 42 – Issue 4 – p 451–457.

Regional Anesthesia for surgery and other comparative studies. Sweden.

ERAS: Role of Anesthesiologist. UTSW.

Stanford Anesthesia ERAS pathway website

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Enhanced Recovery after Surgery Versus Perioperative Surgical Home: Is It All in the Name? Anesthesia & Analgesia: May 2014 – Volume 118 – Issue 5 – p 901–902

The Role of Regional Anesthesia in ERAS pathways. Sept 2015. UCSF.

ERAS Pathway Improves Analgesia, Opioid Use and PONV Following Total Mastectomy. Anesthesiology News. May 2016.

Anesthesia Practice and ERAS. Cooper University Hospital. 2017.

ERAS: Anesthesia Tutorial of the Week. Number 204. Nov 2010.

ERAS and Anesthesia. Anesthesia Business Consultants. May 2015.

All about ERAS: Why anesthesiologists need to understand this concept. Becker’s ASC Review. June 2015.

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I’d love to incorporate my findings and use of lidocaine infusions and ketamine infusions on intraoperative and postoperative pain as a multimodal pain management pathway.

Walking labor epidurals

What is an epidural?

What is a “walking” epidural?

Anesthesiology 2 2000, Vol.92, 387. Walking with Labor Epidural Analgesia: The Impact of Bupivacaine Concentration and a Lidocaine–Epinephrine Test Dose.

MJAFI, Vol. 63, No. 1, 2007. Walking Epidural : An Effective Method of Labour Pain Relief. 

Int J Women’s Health, 2009, 1: 139-154. Advances in labor analgesia.

R. Can J Anesth/J Can Anesth (2010) 57: 103. Walking epidurals for labour analgesia: do they benefit anyone?

MOBILIZATION IN LABOUR AFTER REGIONAL ANALGESIA. Euroanesthesia May 2005. Royal Free Hospital. London, UK.

Impact of first-stage ambulation on mode of delivery among women with epidural analgesia. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2004; 44: 489–494

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From WebMD

Walking Epidural with Low Dose Bupivacaine Plus Tramadol on Normal Labour in Primipara. Journal of the College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan 2010, Vol. 20 (5): 295-298.

Clinical Guidelines: Labour Analgesia. Jan 2017. King Edward Memorial Hospital, Australia.

BJOG, Feb 2015. Neuraxial analgesia effects on labor progression: facts, fallacies, uncertainties and the future.

Position in the second stage of labour for women with epidural anaesthesia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Feb 2017.

Ambulatory Epidural Analgesia in Obstetrics: Clinical Effectiveness, Safety, and Guidelines. Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health. Rapid Response Reports. Nov 2010.

Contin Educ Anaesth Crit Care Pain (2004) 4 (4): 114-117. Epidural analgesia in labor.

CSE for Labour Analgesia. 

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From the ASA 2017 (October in Boston):

  • CSE: 1 cc 0.25% bupi + 15mcg fentanyl (good for primip)
  • 25g Dural Puncture without dosing sometimes (primips)

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MitraClip and TEE for MR

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European Heart Journal – Cardiovascular Imaging (2013) 14, 935–949.  Peri-interventional echo assessment for the MitraClip procedure. 

Everest Clinical Trial results PPT

Open Heart 2014;1:e000056. Two-year outcomes after percutaneous mitral valve repair with the MitraClip system: durability of the procedure and predictors of outcome.

ASE Echo 2016: Percutaneous approaches to MR. UofMichigan PPT.

2015: The role of 3D TEE in the MitraClip procedure – UofColorado PPT

Abbott TTE checklist for MitraClip

EuroValve Congress 2015: MR in the MitraClip Era

2012: Echo in mitral valve intervention. 

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Abbott MitraClip device and delivery system package insert

Neth Heart J (2017) 25:125–130. MitraClip step by step; how to simplify the procedure.

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Transseptal Puncture technique with TEE

JACC Cardiovascular Imaging: July 2012. Role of echo in percutaneous mitral valve interventions. 

MitraClip Cases with TEE: Mayo Clinic.

Career path: anesthesiologist

If you’re an anesthesiologist or in anesthesiology, you should check out this guy’s blog. He’s real and states it how it is. 

Lately, I’ve been feeling a lot of what he describes here: http://www.blog.greatzs.com/2016/03/a-hard-days-night.html?m=1

I think in residency it was a tad easier to deal with the insane work hours bc all my friends were in the same boat. We all suffered together and had minimal free time. But now in the real world, where a lot of my friends are non-medical or have better work hours… I see a huge discrepancy in free time available. It’s taking a toll on me bc I want that free time too and I find myself overwhelmed with being a “Yes” person and ignoring “me”. Lately, it’s catching up and I need a disconnect. 

But apparently, according to this recent report, I’m not working that hard.  Maybe hospital administrators should know that OR efficiency (or lack thereof) is the bottleneck.  Perhaps parallel incentives where productivity-based pay instead of salaries would provide a bit of motivation. 

And I completely agree with this guy’s assessment and wonderment of trying to become an intensivist. I chose anesthesiology for a reason, not ICU, not internal medicine, etc.