This type of anesthesia is placed near the spine area. It will block sensation like pain from the chest down to the legs.
Reasons for Procedure
Anesthesia is used to block pain. There are different types. Spinal and epidural anesthesia will allow you to be awake without feeling pain in lower body. It has fewer risks than general anesthesia. Spinal and epidural are most often used for:
A specialist will talk to you before anesthesia is used. They will ask about:
Any drug allergies
Medicine you are taking
Health issues such as heart, lung, or bleeding problems
Any problems you have had with anesthesia
Description of the Procedure
Monitors will keep track of blood pressure, pulse, and oxygen levels in the blood. A tube may be passed up into the bladder. It will help to drain urine while the anesthesia is active. An area on the back will be cleaned. A medicine will be injected into the skin. It will numb the area for the spinal or epidural.
Spinal anesthesia : A needle will be passed into space around the spine. The medicine will be sent into the fluid that surrounds the spinal cord. It will be given in 1 injection.
Epidural anesthesia : A needle will be passed into space around the spine. The medicine will be sent into the fluid that surrounds the spinal cord. A tiny, flexible tube may be left in place just outside of the fluid sac. This will allow more doses to be given if it is needed.
A bandage will be placed over the area when the process is done.
Epidural anesthesia. Baylor College of Medicine website. Available at: https://www.bcm.edu/healthcare/care-centers/anesthesiology/for-patients/epidural-analgesia. Updated August 2010. Accessed February 14, 2020.
Regional anesthesia. Baylor College of Medicine website. Available at: https://www.bcm.edu/healthcare/care-centers/anesthesiology/patient-information/regional-anesthesia. Updated August 2010. Accessed February 14, 2020.
Spinal anesthesia simulation. University of Florida website. Available at: http://vam.anest.ufl.edu/simulations/spinalanesthesia.php. Accessed February 14, 2020.
Spinal anaesthetic. Patient website. Available at: https://patient.info/health/spinal-anaesthetic. Updated August 17, 2017. Accessed February 14, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2020 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 10/2/2020
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