Spinal and Epidural Anesthesia
Spinal and Epidural Anesthesia
(Spinal Block; Epidural Block)
Reasons for Procedure
- Pelvis, hips, and legs
- Ability to be awake during the operation
- Avoid complications of general anesthesia
- Severe headache or back pain
- Drop in blood pressure
- Nerve damage
- Allergic reaction to the anesthetic used
- Longer labor during childbirth (epidural anesthesia)
- Bleeding disorders
- Prior allergic reactions to anesthetics
- Immune system disorders
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Your drug allergies
- Medicines you are taking
- Any heart or lung conditions you have
- Any previous reactions that you or other family members have had to anesthesia
- Any bleeding problems you have had in the past
Description of the Procedure
- Blood pressure
- Oxygen content of your blood
- An IV line to provide you with fluids
- A catheter (tube) put into your bladder to keep urine drained
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Immediately After Procedure
- After spinal anesthesia—You may be told to stay in bed with your head flat for several hours. This is to prevent a headache.
- After either spinal or epidural anesthesia—You will stay in bed until your legs are no longer numb.
How Long Will It Take?
- Spinal anesthesia—begins working right after the injection is given
- Epidural anesthesia—takes about 10-20 minutes to begin working
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
For the first 24 hours:
- Do not drive or operate machinery.
- Do not drink alcohol.
- Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Persistent or severe headache or back pain
- Dizziness, fainting
- Weakness, numbness, or tingling in your arms or legs
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Skin rash
- Difficulty breathing
American Society of Anesthesiologists http://www.asahq.org
National Library of Medicine http://www.nlm.nih.gov
The Canadian Anesthesiologists' Society http://www.cas.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/index%5Fe.html
Anesthesia & you. American Society of Anesthesiologists website. Available at: http://www.asahq.org/patientEducation/Office-BasedAnesthesiaandSurgery.pdf. Accessed July 27, 2009.
Anesthesia: options and considerations. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com. Accessed September 16, 2003.
Miller RD. Anesthetic techniques. Miller Anesthesia. 7th ed. St. Louis, MO: Churchill Livingstone; 2009: 2223-2231.
Spinal anesthesia. University of Florida website. Available at: http://vam.anest.ufl.edu/simulations/spinalanesthesia.php. Updated April 2009. Accessed July 27, 2009.
6/3/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
12/30/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Anim-Somuah M, Smyth RM, Jones L. Epidural versus non-epidural or no analgesia in labour. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011;12:CD000331.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 00/92/2012 -