The use of Walant Technique in performing Upper Limb Surgery

By: Dr CPJ Lourens, Orthopaedic Surgeon

Room 22, Medical Centre, Berlyn street, Paarl

Tel: 021 8711502

Over the recent years the way of doing surgery in patients with upper limb pathology has changed dramatically with the perfecting of the Walant Technique of pain control.

Walant is an acronym for “wide awake local anesthetics no tournique.” This basically means operating a patient with a local anesthetic block in the area that is being operated and not using a constrictive band like a tourniquet to prevent blood loss.

Another drug that causes the construction of arteries is also added preventing bleeding and that removes the need to administrate a compression tournique.

To control abnormal bleeding it was needed in the past to use a constriction band in the limb operated. This could lead to complications such as pain post-op and possible blood clot formation.

By removing the need to use a tournique due to the local blood vessel constriction from administrating adrenalin potential post-opp complications are removed.

The action of adrenalin also has the added benefit of increasing the time that the local anesthetic block is effective.

The type of upper Limb operation done under Walant Technique are the following.

  1. Carpal tunnel release.
  2. Ulnar nerve decompressions.
  3. Excision of ganglions or other surgical conditions affecting the hand or fingers.
  4. Tendon releases in the hand and around the elbow.
  5. Fixation of fractures involving the bones of the hand and fingers.

Due to the increased usage of Walant Technique, it has been perfected in such a way that most of the above surgical procedures are done today without a general anesthetic as in the past.

The removal of the need for a general anesthetic has also made this ideal for day-case surgery.

Due to the benefit of Walant Technique, it has allowed medical practitioners a safe and cost-effective option in treating patients with upper limb conditions requiring surgery.

Thanks to the Walant Technique the overall experience of day-case upper limb surgery has evolved into a very user-friendly experience with high patient satisfaction rates.

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