The data support but do not conclusively prove, that RA results in a superior recovery compared with GA. However, several questions need to be answered. Even though the patient may leave the hospital or surgicenter sooner after RA, how does the patient treat pain at home once the block has "worn off"? Since short-acting sedatives and opioids are so commonly used with RA, to what extent is recovery due to them and to what extent is recovery due to the RA alone? Many of the studies examining beneficial effects of RA have been poorly conducted, combining RA with GA and producing inconclusive results. Anesthetic techniques need to be carefully compared to determine whether they are equal in quality, efficiency, and cost. Finally, to determine whether RA is cost-effective, future studies involving ambulatory patients with a focus on outcome and well-being need to be conducted.