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I'm not sure how "autonomous" this is, but IMO avoiding a general isn't necessarily a bad decision. Complications from general anaesthesia are far from unknown, and especially for low-risk procedures like arm surgery, the chances of having a problem from the anaesthesia are greater, and probably significantly greater, than from the procedure itself.


I just had a procedure on my wrist that didn't require a general anasthesia. I was sedated but conscious, more or less, and my entire right arm was made numb while a cyst the size of my thumb was excised from my wrist. It was a delicate procedure, all kinds of nerves and tendons tangled up with the material removed. Though conscious, I was draped such that I couldn't see the surgery at all. Not that I cared, drugged as I was.

I remember thinking before the surgery that it would be interesting to watch it. But now I'm remembering my years as an auto mechanic. Believe me, if you want something done right on your car, the worst thing you can do is watch over the tech's shoulder as they're doing it. It's distracting and nerve wracking and makes it far more likely that something delicate gets screwed up. Or takes three times as long. When the thing being worked on isn't the engine of your precious ride but your own right hand, I'd think this principle would apply more.

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