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Ambulatory Perineural Infusion: The Patients' Perspective
  1. Brian M. Ilfeld, M.D.,
  2. Dasia E. Esener, M.S.,
  3. Timothy E. Morey, M.D. and
  4. Kayser F. Enneking, M.D.
  1. From the Department of Anesthesiology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL, and Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL, USA, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
  1. Reprint requests: Brian M. Ilfeld, MD, Department of Anesthesiology, P.O. Box 100254, 1600 Archer Road, Gainesville, FL 32610-0254, USA. E-mail: bjilfeld{at}


Background and Objectives: Ambulatory perineural local anesthetic infusion is a relatively new method for providing postoperative analgesia, and many aspects of this technique remain in the domain of conjecture and speculation. This retrospective chart review and survey was undertaken to investigate patients' opinions on various aspects of their ambulatory perineural infusion experience.

Methods: Patients who had received an ambulatory perineural infusion from the University of Florida were identified via pharmacy records. Patients were contacted by phone and were asked various questions regarding their experiences and preferences during and after their perineural infusion.

Results: Of 217 patients identified, 215 charts were located and retrieved. Of these, 137 (64%) were successfully contacted and 131 (61%) consented to take part in the survey. More than 97% of patients reported that they felt “safe” during home infusion, that one physician telephone call each night was optimal contact, and that they were comfortable removing the catheter with instructions given over the phone. Only 4% would have preferred to return for catheter removal, and 43% felt that they would have been comfortable with only written instructions for catheter removal.

Conclusion: This investigation suggests that perineural local anesthetic infusion is generally well tolerated by ambulatory patients.

  • Ambulatory surgery
  • Continuous nerve block
  • Continuous regional analgesia
  • Pain control
  • Perineural infusion
  • Postoperative analgesia

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  • Funding for this project provided by the University of Florida, Department of Anesthesiology.

    An abstract of this article was presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, October 13, 2003.