Regional Anesthesia
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings
Answers

What is Regional Anesthesia?

Regional anesthesia is a type of anesthesia. It blocks pain to a part of the body without causing the patient to sleep.

Regional anesthesia is used to make the body numb for surgery:

  • It may be used with high-risk surgical patients. It is safer for them than general anesthesia .
  • It has been proven beneficial in trauma , operation-related pain, and short and long term medical disease and pain states.
  • Epidural anesthesia is often used during childbirth to relieve labor pains.
  • It has been shown to help people be mobile sooner after surgery and increases duration of pain relief.

Anesthesia Injection into Spinal Canal—Epidural
Anesthesia Injection into Spinal Canal—Epidural
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Possible Complications

Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have anesthesia, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Pain and tenderness around the injection site
  • Bruising, infection, or bleeding of the injection site
  • Headache
  • Decrease in blood pressure
  • Nerve damage
  • Medicine mistakenly injected into a vein or artery
  • Damage to organs

Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Current or past health problems
  • Taking medicines, supplements, herbal remedies, or blood thinners
  • Allergies
  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Using recreational drugs
  • History of adverse reactions to anesthesia

Call Your Doctor

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