This medical video will focus on patients who receive anesthesia at their homes.
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Jennifer Mathews: Mary Young and her husband, Frank, are relaxing at home today, just one day after Mary had shoulder surgery. Mary Young: It was hurting bad enough that I said, I want it fixed. Jennifer Mathews: Surgery made Mary nervous, but the recovery worried her more. Pain pills and Mary are old enemies. Mary Young: I was nauseated, very sick, didn't sleep for two or three days and just felt really bad. Jennifer Mathews: This time around, Mary is free from those strong narcotics. Instead, she's hooked to a pump that delivers a local anesthetic to keep her shoulder numb. Mary Young: I don't have any pain at all. Jennifer Mathews: Anesthesiologist Ward Longbottom says, at-home anesthesia is a huge step forward for patients. Dr. Ward Longbottom: A lot of the operations that were that did have to stay in house in the past are now going home. Jennifer Mathews: Doctors use a stimulator to find the nerve that needs to be blocked. A catheter is inserted in the skin and is hooked to the pump. Dr. Ward Longbottom: When the patient goes home, they have 24-hour-a-day access to an anesthesiologist. Jennifer Mathews: Dr. Longbottom also says, the anesthetics used are less toxic and safer for the patient. Mary gets a continuous dose of pain relief. And with a simple push of a button, she can get more medication and more relief. But the programmed pump will not go above the amount set by the doctor. Mary Young: I have felt so much better. Jennifer Mathews: Mary hopes her road to recovery will be as smooth as the first 24 hours. This is Jennifer Mathews reporting.