Local Anesthesia: Evidence, Strategies, and Safety
Current Dermatology Reports
The number of office-based procedures performed utilizing local anesthesia continues to rise, particularly in dermatologic settings. As more emphasis is placed on cost effectiveness in medicine, it is important to understand the role that office-based procedures can play in providing excellent dermatologic care. In addition, it is essential to continually demonstrate that local anesthesia administered in office-based settings is safe and effective in order to maintain a high standard of care within the specialty. Achieving adequate local anesthesia is imperative to ensure patient comfort, reduce anxiety, and promote optimal outcomes. The clinician should have a comprehensive understanding of the pathophysiology, mechanism of action, practical applications and techniques, and potential adverse events of various topical and injectable anesthetics in order to enhance patient satisfaction and safety. Lidocaine, which is the most commonly used local anesthetic, has a rapid onset, moderate duration, and excellent safety profile, making it a staple in office-based procedures.