Ultrasound-guided greater auricular nerve block as sole anesthetic for ear surgery

  • Michael K. Ritchie Department of Anesthesiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV, United States.
  • Colin A. Wilson Department of Anesthesiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV, United States.
  • Brian W. Grose Department of Anesthesiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV, United States.
  • Pavithra Ranganathan Department of Anesthesiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV, United States.
  • Stephen M. Howell Department of Anesthesiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV, United States.
  • Matthew B. Ellison | ellisonma@wvumedicine.org Department of Anesthesiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV, United States. http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6418-5097

Abstract

A greater auricular nerve (GAN) block was used as the sole anesthetic for facial surgery in an 80-year-old male patient with multiple comorbidities which would have made general anesthesia challenging. The GAN provides sensation to the ear, mastoid process, parotid gland, and angle of the mandible. In addition to anesthesia for operating room surgery, the GAN block can be used for outpatient or emergency department procedures without the need for a separate anesthesia team. Although this nerve block has been performed using landmark-based techniques, the ultrasoundguided version offers several potential advantages. These advantages include increased reliability of the nerve block, as well as prevention of inadvertent vascular puncture or blockade of the phrenic nerve, brachial plexus, or deep cervical plexus. The increasing access to ultrasound technology for medical care providers outside the operating room makes this ultrasound guided block an increasingly viable alternative.

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Author Biographies

Michael K. Ritchie, Department of Anesthesiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV

Assistant Professor

West Virginia University Department of Anesthesiology

Colin A. Wilson, Department of Anesthesiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV

Assistant Professor

West Virginia University Department of Anesthesiology

Brian W. Grose, Department of Anesthesiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV

Assistant Professor

West Virginia University Department of Anesthesiology

Pavithra Ranganathan, Department of Anesthesiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV

Assistant Professor

West Virginia University Department of Anesthesiology

Stephen M. Howell, Department of Anesthesiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV

Associate Professor

West Virginia University Department of Anesthesiology

Matthew B. Ellison, Department of Anesthesiology, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV

Associate Professor

West Virginia University Department of Anesthesiology

Published
2016-05-23
Section
Case Reports
Keywords:
Ear surgery, greater auricular nerve block, ultrasound, cervical plexus, ambulatory surgery.
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How to Cite
Ritchie, M., Wilson, C., Grose, B., Ranganathan, P., Howell, S., & Ellison, M. (2016). Ultrasound-guided greater auricular nerve block as sole anesthetic for ear surgery. Clinics and Practice, 6(2). https://doi.org/10.4081/cp.2016.856