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

What is Spinal and Epidural Anesthesia?

These two types of anesthesia numb your body from the chest down to the legs. The medicine is placed directly into the spine area.

Spinal and epidural anesthesia is frequently given for surgeries involving:

  • Pelvis, hips, and legs
  • Childbirth

Advantages of these types of anesthesia include:

Possible Complications

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

  • Severe headache or back pain
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Nerve damage
  • Infection
  • Allergic reaction to the anesthetic used

Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Bleeding disorders
  • Prior allergic reactions to anesthetics
  • Dehydration
  • Immune system disorders

Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the surgery.

Call Your Doctor

After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Persistent or...
 
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