"It may sound like an odd thing to say..."
About: Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital Norwich NR4 7UY
Posted by Martin Weatherburn
What I liked
I am moved to write as I am so impressed with the treatment I received from the whole Orthopaedics team led by the surgeon who did an amazing operation assisted by a nurse. On entering the unit a nurse who prepared me for the theatre team when I was collected by 2 nurses who assisted the anaesthetist to carry out a block. After the operation a nurse looked after me, taking blood pressure readings before handing me back to the first nurse who arranged tea and toast before helping me get ready to go home.
All these wonderful people were kind, friendly, helpful, informative and very professional. I've yet to see/feel the end result of the surgery (dressings still in place) but, thanks to the anaesthetist’s very clever block technique, I was able to experience and be fully involved in the whole operation, talking to the team and communicating throughout. I found it very reassuring and would recommend this block technique even to the most squeamish of people, which I am not. I actually wanted to watch as much of the procedure as I could, being interested in what is being done to me, the squeamish don't have to. The recovery time is so much quicker than from a general anaesthetic and, so long as the limb is temporarily immobilised, one can go home immediately after surgery thereby freeing up bed space and saving staff time.
The anaesthetist showed me on the ultrasound monitor what he was doing, where the nerves and veins are and fully explained how the block works and what the after effects would be - I did have a wayward arm for a little while but have had no pain whatsoever. The surgeon explained what he was doing to release the Dupuytren Contracture, showing me the fibrous material he removed from my hand and the hand before suturing, pointing out the nerve he had to avoid damaging. I found it all very interesting and felt at ease throughout.
I can now highly recommend the block technique as a preferred anaesthetic option for both patient and hospital.
What could be improved
As the surgery was on my hand, it would have been easier for me if I could have kept my trousers on.
Please convey my grateful and heartfelt thanks to all those involved.