Document Type


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School of Medicine




A greater auricular nerve (GAN) block was used as the sole anesthetic for facial surgery in an 80-year-old male patient with multiple comorbidities which would have made general anesthesia challenging. The GAN provides sensation to the ear, mastoid process, parotid gland, and angle of the mandible. In addition to anesthesia for operating room surgery, the GAN block can be used for outpatient or emergency department procedures without the need for a separate anesthesia team. Although this nerve block has been performed using landmark-based techniques, the ultrasound-guided version offers several potential advantages. These advantages include increased reliability of the nerve block, as well as prevention of inadvertent vascular puncture or blockade of the phrenic nerve, brachial plexus, or deep cervical plexus. The increasing access to ultrasound technology for medical care providers outside the operating room makes this ultrasound guided block an increasingly viable alternative.

Source Citation

Ritchie, M. K., Wilson, C. A., Grose, B. W., Ranganathan, P., Howell, S. M., & Ellison, M. B. (2016). Ultrasound-guided greater auricular nerve block as sole anesthetic for ear surgery. Clinics and Practice, 6(2).


©Copyright M.K. Ritchie et al., 2016 Licensee PAGEPress, Italy Clinics and Practice 2016; 6:856 doi:10.4081/cp.2016.856



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