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Anesthesiology/Immune to Local Anesthetics?


Tara wrote at 2011-09-24 15:28:38
Ever since I was little I have been immune to all local anesthesia. Just last year I had to get two major surgeries. During the first surgery the original plan was for me to just be a little hazy. But when I started reaching for my ipod to change the song the doctor told me I should be unable to move at this point. In the end they had to put me completely under, the same for the second surgery. I talked to my mom about it and she said that her, her mother and my aunt all have the same immunity.

Michelle wrote at 2012-01-07 06:49:36
I too have become immune to local anesthesia.  I have had procedures in the past with no issue, however in the past 2-3 yrs it has become a problem.  I noticed first during a dentist visit when after a few minutes of him working on my tooth I began to feel pain.  He noticed the tension building in my body, and asked if I was feeling pain.  He proceeded to give me more anesthetic to complete the job however it only lasted minutes as well.  My Dentist was confused as he claims my mouth should have been numb for approx. 1hr. and it was not lasting 10mins.  The latest was a "questionable mole" removal at the Dermatologist.  Anesthetic was given and the removal was completed however by the time the doctor began to stitch the area (only a few minutes later) I had total feeling back to the area, and felt every stitch.  I have recently been diagnosed with Mitochondrial Myopathy, and was thinking this may be another glitch in my system.

Julie wrote at 2012-07-09 04:15:38
Thanks for the response to this post, Dr. I just had a small lipo procedure done under local anesthesia and it was the most excruciating experience of my life. Because resistance to local anesthetic is so rare, I think many doctors believe the patient is just whining or that the pain is all in their head. I also have difficulty at the dentist. After about 15 shots in the gums (I'm not exaggerating), I'll achieve a slightly numbing sensation, but not enough to keep me from experiencing a great deal of pain. Dentists often become frustrated or tell me it's 'impossible' that I'm feeling anything.  

sarah wrote at 2012-08-28 21:54:05
I am not a doctor, but I have been told that I am immune to local anesthesia also. The doctor said it is very rare and that I'm the only person he's witnessed with this issue. I knew that dentists were unable to numb me, and one time at the doctor's office, but was still a big surprise when I was given epidurals etc during labor and then when they did my emergency c section. i had to be put to sleep. hated it.  

Oddbod wrote at 2012-09-19 21:20:35
Thank God there is a doctor out there who believes their patients! I have undergone a partial removal of a breast and a removal of a kidney where an epidural was used.  Although I told the doctors that I could feel everything, they did not believe me and just went ahead. The pain was so bad I wanted to die. When this was questioned after the operation (as the artery to the kidney went into spasm and was not ligated), I was told it was "not possible". I dread anything else going wrong with me, as I know I will not believed again!  

Josh wrote at 2015-06-03 23:39:32
Hi there,

I cannot provide an answer but i can provide supporting information.

I am a 19 year old boy from New Zealand and have had my fair few injuries. Unluckily for me, local anesthetic does nothing for me.

I am writing this having just got back from the medical centre from receiving - wait for it - around 10 different local injections in my index finger for an extremely painful abscess needing popping. The doctor didn't believe me at first when I said it didn't work on me as he said he has treated 100,000+ patients and has never encountered such but nonetheless I proved him wrong.

My other latest experience before this was when i had to get stitches in my fold of skin that goes between the base of the thumb and the index finger. I received around 6 injections around the area and waited a total of around an hour for them to kick in - but the relief never came.

In both cases we ended up just doing it without pain relief. Very annoying for me, but I guess i'll just have to deal with it.



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Rex Russell


Any question dealing with general anesthesia issues. With particular emphasis on regional anesthesia.


I am a board certified anesthesiologist, graduated from residency in 2004 from Johns Hopkins Hospital. I have since worked as an anesthesiologist first in the Air Force for three years and then most recently in Texas in Private Practice.

Texas Medical Association Texas society of Anesthesiologists American Society of Anesthesiologists

BS, BYU MD, U of Texas, Galveston Intern-St. Joe's Hospital, Phx, AZ Internal Medicine Residency-Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD

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