Interscalene block (ISB) impairs ipsilateral lung function and generally is not used for patients with respiratory insufficiency. We present a 49-year-old man with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease scheduled for shoulder surgery. He was given a regional technique with an ISB (short-acting local anesthetic to minimize duration of diaphragmatic dysfunction) and suprascapular and axillary nerves blocks (long-acting local anesthetic). He was supported with noninvasive ventilation during the time of hemidiaphragmatic paralysis as documented by serial ultrasound examination. A discussion about ISB and its alternatives (general anesthesia versus brachial plexus block versus selective peripheral nerve blocks) always should occur for patients at risk for pulmonary complications.