Procedure Room Beats Operating Room for WALANT Efficiency

WALANT in a procedure room for minor hand cases offered some compelling advantages in time and resource utilization

Smart Practice: If you haven’t already set up a hand surgery procedure room for wide-awake local anesthesia and no tourniquet (WALANT) surgery, you may want to think about doing so; with each passing month, the case becomes more convincing.

What’s the Claim?

A prospective, observational study found dramatic reductions in hospital time, outpatient visits, and estimated costs when carpal tunnel or A1 pulley releases (among other minor operations) were performed in a clinic-based procedure room rather than an operating room. The surgeons intended to perform all procedures in both groups with the WALANT approach, though in the operating room setting, the anesthesia caregiver was permitted to perform conscious sedation at his/her discretion. Despite that, overall anxiety levels were very low (0 to 1 out of 10 during and after the procedure), there were no between-group differences in anxiety, and the large majority of patients in both groups characterized the experience as less painful than a dental procedure.

How’s It Stack Up?