Doctor keeps patients 'awake' for surgery in pioneering initiative that avoids risks of general anaesthetic

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Some are ready to leave 45 minutes after their operation. In addition, surgery can be offered to patients who cannot have a general anaesthetic, such as a 94-year-old woman who received two new shoulders. Mr Ferran said there were many advantages. “It avoids the need for a general anaesthetic, which can cause cardiac and breathing problems and, in very, very rare cases, death. It avoids the nausea and vomiting afterwards, which some patients can experience and which a lot of patients are worried about. “It also allows for good pain relief because the surgical site is numb, and usually for 24 hours. It means their first night’s sleep after surgery is usually a lot more comfortable. The recovery is quicker. They can eat and drink as soon as the operation is over, and because they have got good pain relief they can usually leave hospital quicker.”

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