A member asked:

What are the risks of having an epidural?

14 doctors weighed in across 3 answers
Dr. David Simons answered

Specializes in Anesthesiology

Epidural placement is safe in most patients and considered a low risk procedure if done by qualified individuals. Risks include death, infection, bleeding, nerve damage, headache, and persistent low back pain. Epidurals are not indicated in patients with active infection, bleeding tendencies, or active bleeding with low blood pressure.

Answered Dec 28, 2018

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Dr. Mark Newman answered

Specializes in Anesthesiology

Properly performed, the risks from having an epidural are very low. My routine discussions with patient's about epidural risks include the risk of infection, bleeding, nerve injury, risk of spinal headache and need for epidural blood patch if severly symptomatic. Medication side effects are also discussed depending on the procedure indication and medications used.

Answered Dec 28, 2018

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Dr. Qamar Khan answered

Specializes in Pain Management

The worse part of an epidural injection is typically the local anesthetic administered to numb the skin. After that the needle typically feels like pressure. However as the needle enters the spinal canal or around the nerve root there can be some pain that is transient. Complications can be bleeding, infection, nerve damage and paralysis, but these are extremely rare.

Answered Dec 28, 2018

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