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Lech, L.; Loucas, R.; Leitsch, S.; Vater, A.; Mayer, J. M.; Giunta, R. and Holzbach, T. (2022): Is there a need for postoperative monitoring after open carpal tunnel release under WALANT? In: Hand Surgery & Rehabilitation, Vol. 41, No. 5: pp. 638-643

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Open carpal tunnel release (OCTR) under wide-awake local anesthesia with no tourniquet (WALANT) is a common outpatient procedure in hand surgery worldwide. In our clinic, WALANT has replaced intravenous regional anesthesia with a tourniquet (IVRA, or 'Bier block') as standard practice in OCTR. We therefore wondered what the optimal postoperative setting after OCTR under WALANT is. In this study, we compared patient satisfaction in two postoperative settings: immediate discharge (ID) after the operation, or short postoperative monitoring (PM) period in the outpatient clinic. Our hypothesis was that older patients would prefer a brief postoperative surveillance. We retrospectively analyzed patient satisfaction with the two settings using an adjusted questionnaire based on the standard Swiss grading system. We also assessed postoperative pain, satisfaction with the perioperative preparations and the reasons for unscheduled postoperative consultations, as secondary outcomes. One hundred and nine patients (ID, n = 63;PM, n = 46) were included in this single-center retrospective observational study. Patients were highly satisfied with both postoperative settings (Mean: ID 5.1/6;PM 5.5/6;p = 0.07). Even patients aged >= 80 years reported extremely high satisfaction with both settings (ID 5.6/6;PM 6.0/ 6;p = 0.08). Fifteen patients (ID, n = 11 [17.5%];PM, n = 4 [8.7%], p = 0.72) unexpectedly consulted a doctor after surgery. OCTR under WALANT as an outpatient procedure with immediate discharge was associated with high patient satisfaction. However, detailed postoperative monitoring could contribute to the patient's well-being and education on how to cope with the postoperative course, and help with any questions.(c) 2022 SFCM. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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