Intraspinal anesthesia; Subarachnoid anesthesia; Epidural; Epidural block; Peridural anesthesia
Spinal and epidural anesthesia are medicines that numb parts of your body to block pain. They are given through shots in or around the spine. You will stay awake during both of these types of anesthesia.
The area of your back where the needle will be inserted will be cleaned with a special solution. Most of the time this shot will go in your lower back. This area may also be numbed with a local anesthetic. You may receive fluids through an intravenous line (IV, in a vein). You may also get medicine to help you relax.
For an epidural:
For a spinal:
Oxygen levels in your blood, your pulse, and your blood pressure will be checked during your procedure. You will have a bandage where the needle was inserted.
Spinal and epidural anesthesia have fewer side effects and risks than general anesthesia (asleep and pain-free). Patients usually recover much faster and can go home sooner.
Spinal anesthesia is often used for genital, urinary tract, or lower body procedures.
Epidural anesthesia is often used during labor and delivery, and surgery in the pelvis and legs.
Epidural and spinal anesthesia are often used when:
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Hawkins JL, Arens JF, Bucklin BA, et al. Practice Guidelines for Obstetric Anesthesia: An Updated Report by the American Society of Anesthesiologists Task Force on Obstetric Anesthesia. Anesthesiology. April 2007;106(4).
Gerges FJ, Kanazi GE, Jabbour-khoury SI. Anesthesia for laparoscopy: a review. Journal of Clinical Anesthesia. Feb 2006;18(1).
Reynolds F. Neurological Infections After Neuraxial Anesthesia. Anesthesiology Clinics. March 2008;26(1).
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