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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
Allergic reaction to the anesthetic used
Longer labor during childbirth with an epidural anesthesia
Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
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
You will be connected to various monitors to keep track of your:
Oxygen content of your blood
You may also have:
An IV to deliver fluids
A tube in your bladder to keep urine drained
An area on your back above the spinal cord will be cleaned. A local anesthetic will be injected into the skin to numb the area. This is to decrease pain from the larger needle that will be put in your back. If you are getting spinal anesthesia, the doctor will give you one injection. The medication will be sent directly into the sac of fluid that surrounds the spinal cord.
If you are getting epidural anesthesia, it may be delivered the same way. But, if you need more than one dose, you will have a tiny, flexible tube in place just outside of the fluid sac. This allows the doctor to give you more medication if you need it. After the surgery, a bandage will be placed over the injection spot.
Spinal anesthesia simulation. University of Florida website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Accessed November 19, 2013.
Epidural anesthesia. Baylor College of Medicine website. Available at: https://www.bcm.edu/departments/anesthesiology/index.cfm?pmid=17799. Updated August 2010. Accessed November 19, 2013.
Your spinal anesthetic. Patient UK website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated January 24, 2012. Accessed November 19, 2013.
6/3/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance ...(Click grey area to select URL) 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 ...(Click grey area to select URL) Anim-Somuah M, Smyth RM, Jones L. Epidural versus non-epidural or no analgesia in labour. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011;12:CD000331.
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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.