VA Palo Alto Health Care System
Acute Pain Medicine and Regional Anesthesiology
The Regional Anesthesiology and Acute Pain Medicine (RAAPM) division at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) helps Veteran patients every step of the way through surgery. For patients on high dose opioids or other pain management concerns, we help implement a multidisciplinary customized program well in advance and coordinate care with patients’ other health care professionals to facilitate a smooth transition from hospital to home.
Once patients arrive for surgery, we routinely apply state-of-the-art regional anesthesia techniques employing ultrasound guidance and multimodal strategies for acute pain management. This includes placing nerve blocks - a technique utilizing local anesthetic "numbing" medications to help dampen pain during and after surgery - and managing all postoperative pain medications. After surgery, we often leave nerve block catheters in place, to give patients a targeted and titratable form of non-opioid pain control for days after surgery. This helps patients improve and recover from surgery with minimal side effects. Finally, we provide a personalized opioid tapering regimen for many patients with access to a transitional pain program, to help them wean off their pain medications as soon as possible after leaving the hospital.
Our RAAPM group is led by Dr. Jody Leng and consists of our staff attending physician anesthesiologists, as well as our staff nurse practitioner with a doctorate in nursing practice. As affiliated Stanford faculty, we also train Stanford RAAPM fellows and anesthesiology residents. We have a great collaborative working environment with plenty of opportunities to develop professionally and sponsors who can help faculty members advance in their careers.
The Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care Service at VAPAHCS operates a new 9000 square foot simulation center on campus that promotes innovative education and scholarship. Other research opportunities include access to databases for studying patient outcomes, a culture of continuous improvement, new technologies for teaching and clinical practice, and infrastructure for clinical trials.
Our RAAPM faculty members are very active in the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA) and American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) with leadership and teaching faculty roles in both organizations.
Please visit our website for more information about our group.
- Jody Leng, MD, MS (Director)
- Deborah Fretwell, MD
- Natasha Funck, MD
- T. Kyle Harrison, MD
- Jonay Hill, MD
- Oluwatobi O. Hunter, DNP, RNP
- Gunjan Kumar, MD
- Edward R. Mariano, MD, MAS
- Cynthia Shum, DNP, MEd, RN, CHSE-A
- Lindsey Vokach-Brodsky, MD
- Amy Ye, MD, MPH
For patient information about regional anesthesia options, please see Frequently Asked Questions about Regional Anesthesia.
These short patient education videos cover nerve block catheter and pain pump management:
The American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA) also offers great resources for patients about regional anesthesia for specific surgeries and chronic pain management.