Buttonholing and local anaesthetic?

Was wondering if those of you who buttonhole still use a local anaesthetic?
If not how long did it take you to make the decision to stop and how is it to go without? I am getting a bit tired of sticking those little needles in and wondering whether they are still doing anything! 8)

I never used a local. I would try it without, I’ll bet you find the numbing more painful than the stick.

self home hemo 9/04
4 buttonholes
No. CA

I tried it once early on, but I never used local by needle. Once I started dialysis 3 years ago, a nurse told me about Emla cream, I got some, and never looked back. There’s nothing better. However, after about 8 months or so on hemo (still in-centre), I stopped using it, and I’ve never used anything since. After a while, you won’t need anything, because repeated needle sticks deaden the nerves. With buttonholes, I wouldn’t want to use any local anyway, because feeling the needle going in helps me judge if I’m putting it in the buttonhole tunnel just right.

But if it hurts, there’s no use torturing yourself. Use Emla cream - don’t know if they have that brand in Australia, but they would surely have something equivalent.


Thanks for the advice and support folks. It is always great to hear from you. I find the little local needles tend to be a nuisance and only serve to deaden the surface area so will give no local a try. My nurse told me I would just know when I was ready to stop and it is helpful to hear others experiences because I have no personal contact with anyone doing similar dialysis to me around here.
Cheers 8)

I, too, have found EMLA cream to be a miracle product. I have also used the genaric form and it works fine as well. I did opt for a lidocaine shot once, but it is a joke to get extra sticks putting ones access at more risk, when the painless cream form is available. I can’t imagine why units would even give lidocaine shots to patients when there are much better approaches. I have tested myself from time to time to see if I can take sticks minus the cream. But at this time, years later, I still find the sticks painful so I always use the numbing cream. I find the numbing cream works internally as well as on the surface.

I read somewhere that once buttonholes are formed numbing creams should no longer be used. Maybe someone can confirm this?

Well, after reading what you guys said about not needing local, I have just come off my short (4 hour) Sunday run and I did it without any local for the first time! Didn’t seem to hurt, had about the same sensations going in and what a relief to not have to use those nasty little local needles! Saved some time too! Many thanks