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What is Walant?

Walant stands for:

 Wide Awake Local Anaesthesia No Tourniquet

  • Wide Awake
  • Local Anaesthesia
  • No Tourniquet

I would suggest any surgeon apply a tourniquet to their own arm for 15 minutes and see how comfortable/tolerable it is...I can vouch for the fact that it is not! I do appreciate that newcomers to the technique may wish to have one applied for the first few case but not inflated, just in case but you will not need it.

The principle is simple really:
With adrenaline in the local anaesthetic mixture = you don't need a tourniquet (which hurts!)
Without a tourniquet = you don't need a regional anaesthetic (to stop the pain of the tourniquet)
Without a regional anaesthetic = you don't need an anaesthetist
Without an anaesthetist / ODP = vastly reduced cost
Fewer people involved = leaner and more efficient process
Better processes = more patients treated, more efficiently in a more patient-centred manner
So it all starts with the local anaesthetic...

It is a more moist wound than when using a tourniquet but one quickly gets used to it and using more gauze swabs is now very routine. Firmly pressing on the wound to absorb the fluid is a good technique rather than rubbing the wound as the former does not displace the tiny clots that have formed and pressing for a second or so will allow the excess fluid/LA to be absorbed into the gauze.

There is no question that the main benefit of not having a tourniquet and a regional or general anaesthetic is that the patient can move their digits to test your repair/reconstruction. This is a very powerful message to the patient that their hand/fingers can move and should be moved. With awake patients, moving their fixed digits, they can rehabilitate earlier with more conviction and potentially get better results. We await the results of larger, multi-centre studies in the future to prove this is the case!

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