Ok, so I have no idea how new a protocol or procedure is or is not, but I had never encountered it before, and neither had my family.
I had elbow surgery this morning to replace a ligament I tore 2 years ago when I broke and dislocated this elbow. Surgery went fine, by the way. When I have had surgeries before, I was always put under general anesthesia. Not this time. This time they gave me some kind of nerve block that numbed me from my shoulder down, and I was sedated. I remember them telling me they were going to take me back, and the next thing I remember I was waking up from the surgery and being moved to recovery. The benefit of this, my doctor told me, is that there is less risk of nausea from the nerve block and sedative than there is from the anesthesia. Just guessing here, but I am guessing that is not the only side effect there is a reduced risk of.
I am not used to this sensation of my arm being completely numb. I was told it would take anywhere from 8-18 hours for the nerve block to wear off completely. It's been about 14 hours since they numbed my arm and I have not yet gotten feeling back in my arm, though I have started to. It has felt like pins and needles in my hand for a few hours now, very similar to the sensation of your foot going to sleep. And I have started to be able to move my fingers again - the weird thing there is that I can move my fingers, I can see them move, but I can't feel them moving. Weird. On the positive side, my elbow has not hurt at all today from the surgery. :-)
All in all, this has been a rather different procedure for me, but I think overall I approve. I spent very little time in recovery - maybe 30 minutes. Then I got to go home, which is much better than being at the hospital. I have had no nausea. Just this dead weight, numb arm all day, and even that numbness has started to wear off. Hmm, guess that means I'll be starting the pain pills soon...