Clinical Focus

  • Anesthesia

Academic Appointments

  • Clinical Assistant Professor, Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine

Honors & Awards

  • Watson Fellowship, Thomas J. Watson Foundation (2009)

Professional Education

  • Board Certification: American Board of Anesthesiology, Anesthesia (2019)
  • Fellowship, Stanford Hospital/VA Palo Alto, Regional Anesthesia and Acute Pain Medicine (2019)
  • Residency: Brigham and Women's Hospital Anesthesiology Residency (2018) MA
  • Medical Education: Stanford University School of Medicine (2014) CA

2023-24 Courses

Stanford Advisees

Graduate and Fellowship Programs

All Publications

  • Performance of the Pain Sensitivity Questionnaire short form in outpatient arthroscopic surgery without preoperative peripheral nerve block: a prospective observational cohort study. Regional anesthesia and pain medicine Gessner, D., Tsui, B. C., Horn, J. 2022

    View details for DOI 10.1136/rapm-2022-103957

    View details for PubMedID 36270751

  • Automated text messaging follow-up for patients who receive peripheral nerve blocks. Regional anesthesia and pain medicine Gessner, D. n., Hunter, O. O., Kou, A. n., Mariano, E. R. 2021


    Routine follow-up of patients who receive a nerve block for ambulatory surgery typically consists of a phone call from a regional anesthesia clinician. This process can be burdensome for both patients and clinicians but is necessary to assess the efficacy and complication rate of nerve blocks.We present our experience developing an automated system for completing follow-up via short message service text messaging and our preliminary results using it at three clinical sites. The system is built on REDCap, a secure online research data capture platform developed by Vanderbilt University and currently available worldwide.Our automated system queried patients who received a variety of nerve block techniques, assessed patient-reported nerve block duration, and surveyed patients for potential complications. Patient response rate to text messaging averaged 91% (higher than our rates of daily phone contact reported previously) for patients aged 18 to 90 years.Given the wide availability of REDCap, we believe this automated text messaging system can be implemented in a variety of health systems at low cost with minimal technical expertise and will improve both the consistency of patient follow-up and the service efficiency of regional anesthesia practices.

    View details for DOI 10.1136/rapm-2021-102472

    View details for PubMedID 33649155

  • In reply: 'automating patient outcomes: next frontier?' Regional anesthesia and pain medicine Gessner, D., Hunter, O. O., Kou, A., Mariano, E. R. 2021

    View details for DOI 10.1136/rapm-2021-102992

    View details for PubMedID 34226196

  • Pain management in the orthopaedic trauma patient: Non-opioid solutions. Injury Gessner, D. M., Horn, J. L., Lowenberg, D. W. 2019


    When treating pain in the orthopaedic trauma patient opioids have classically represented the mainstay of treatment. They are relatively inexpensive and modestly effective for basic pain management. However, they are fraught with considerable side effects as well as the very high risk of addiction. Their use in pain management has been implicated in the opioid epidemic. For this reason, as well as their only moderate efficacy, alternative modes of treatment have been sought for both the patient with isolated limb trauma and the patient with poly trauma. We review alternative treatment methods in pain management for those with isolated limb trauma and poly trauma. These methods include topical agents, as well as non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, acetaminophen, gabapetoids, intravenous agents, varying degrees of local anesthetic infiltration and peripheral nerve blocks, and the newer modality of fascial plane blocks. Often, it is a combination of these analgesic modalities that gives the most optimum treatment for the trauma patient. This also, more frequently than not, must be individually tailored to the patient, as no two patients act the same in this regard. It is therefore of importance that the physician managing such patients's pain be experienced and well-versed in all these treatment modalities. We also provide a basic stepwise algorithm we have found useful in treating those with single extremity or single site trauma versus those patients with poly trauma and resultant multiple sources as pain generators. It is hoped that this breakdown of the different modalities along with a better understanding of each modality's potential benefits and indications will aid the surgeon in providing better care to patients following orthopedic trauma.

    View details for PubMedID 31079833

  • Revisiting Mechanisms of Extraterritorial Allodynia. Current pain and headache reports Gessner, D. M., Sang, C. N. 2017; 21 (5): 25

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11916-017-0625-9

    View details for PubMedID 28421380

  • Improving and sustaining a reduction in iatrogenic pneumothorax through a multifaceted quality-improvement approach. Journal of hospital medicine Shieh, L., Go, M., Gessner, D., Chen, J. H., Hopkins, J., Maggio, P. 2015; 10 (9): 599-607


    The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has adopted iatrogenic pneumothorax (IAP) as a Patient Safety Indicator. In 2006, in response to a low performance ranking for IAP rate from the University Healthsystem Consortium (UHC), the authors established a multidisciplinary team to reduce our institution's IAP rate. Root-cause analysis found that subclavian insertion of central venous catheterization (CVC) was the most common procedure associated with IAP OBJECTIVE: Our short-term goal was a 50% reduction of both CVC-associated and all-cause IAP rates within 18 months, with long-term goals of sustained reduction.Observational study.Academic tertiary care hospital.Consecutive inpatients from 2006 to 2014.Our multifaceted intervention included: (1) clinical and documentation standards based on evidence, (2) cognitive aids, (3) simulation training, (4) purchase and deployment of ultrasound equipment, and (5) feedback to clinical services.CVC-associated IAP, all-cause IAP rate.We achieved both a short-term (years 2006 to 2008) and long-term (years 2006 to 2008-2014) reduction in our CVC-associated and all-cause IAP rates. Our short-term reduction in our CVC-associated IAP was 53% (P = 0.088), and our long-term reduction was 85% (P < 0.0001). Our short-term reduction in the all-cause IAP rate was 26% (P < 0.0001), and our long-term reduction was 61% (P < 0.0001).A multidisciplinary team, focused on evidence, patient safety, and standardization, can use a set of multifaceted interventions to sustainably improve patient outcomes for several years after implementation. Our hospital was in the highest performance UHC quartile for all-cause IAP in 2012 to 2014. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2015. © 2015 Society of Hospital Medicine.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/jhm.2388

    View details for PubMedID 26041246

  • Cost and turn-around time display decreases inpatient ordering of reference laboratory tests: a time series BMJ QUALITY & SAFETY Fang, D. Z., Sran, G., Gessner, D., Loftus, P. D., Folkins, A., Christopher, J. Y., Shieh, L. 2014; 23 (12): 994-1000


    Reference tests, also known as send-out tests, are commonly ordered laboratory tests with variable costs and turn-around times. We aim to examine the effects of displaying reference laboratory costs and turn-around times during computerised physician order entry (CPOE) on inpatient physician ordering behaviour.We conducted a prospective observational study at a tertiary care hospital involving inpatient attending physicians and residents. Physician ordering behaviour was prospectively observed between September 2010 and December 2012. An intervention was implemented to display cost and turn-around time for reference tests within our CPOE. We examined changes in the mean number of monthly physician orders per inpatient day at risk, the mean cost per order, and the average turn-around time per order.After our intervention, the mean number of monthly physician orders per inpatient day at risk decreased by 26% (51 vs 38, p<0.0001) with a decrease in mean cost per order (US$146.50 vs US$134.20, p=0.0004). There were no significant differences in mean turn-around time per order (5.6 vs 5.7 days, p=0.057). A stratified analysis of both cost and turn-around time showed significant decreases in physician ordering. The intervention projected a mean annual savings of US$330 439. Reference test cost and turn-around time variables were poorly correlated (r=0.2). These findings occurred in the setting of non-significant change to physician ordering in a control cohort of non-reference laboratory tests.Display of reference laboratory cost and turn-around time data during real-time ordering may result in significant decreases in ordering of reference laboratory tests with subsequent cost savings.

    View details for DOI 10.1136/bmjqs-2014-003053

    View details for Web of Science ID 000345318300009