What is “Wide Awake” Surgery?

Until recently, some patients in need of hand or wrist surgery have opted to live with the pain of their injuries or conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, rather than have general anesthesia — a requirement, until recently, for many such surgeries.

But now, White Plains Hospital is offering “wide awake” surgery, which requires only a local anesthetic, for some of these operations.

Hand surgeon and plastic surgeon Jeffrey M. Jacobson, MD, who helped pioneer the technique in Westchester, says that “Wide awake surgery is game-changing for many people,” including the elderly and those who’ve had negative reactions to general anesthesia. It’s also less costly.