A member asked:

Is it safe to have general anesthesia during my c-section?

36 doctors weighed in across 9 answers
Dr. Megan Bird answered

Specializes in Obstetrics and Gynecology

Yes: General anesthesia is riskier than spinal or epidural anesthesia for a cesarean. Which is right for you depends on why you are having a c-section and the other medical conditions you have. In some cases, general anesthesia is the safest method. If you are concerned and have time, ask to talk to an anesthesiologist before surgery to go over the specific risks for you.

Answered 10/4/2016

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Dr. Sheila Goodman answered

Specializes in Obstetrics and Gynecology

Yes: It is safe to have general anesthesia for a c/s but it is better to have spinal. There is less risk, less nausea, less pain right after and the medication doesn't go to the baby. Plus, the mother gets to see her baby right after it is born.

Answered 2/6/2015

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Dr. Sheila Goodman answered

Specializes in Obstetrics and Gynecology

No: If the mother has certain problems with infection, blood clotting or brain disorders, spinal or epidural may be more dangerous than general anesthesia.

Answered 10/6/2013

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Dr. Richard Pollard answered

Specializes in Anesthesiology

Prefer regional: There are specific concerns with the pregnant patient that would make an anesthesiologist prefer a regional anesthetic for a c-section. Please discuss this with your anesthesiologist before proceeding.

Answered 4/24/2015

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Dr. Orrin Ailloni-Charas answered

Specializes in Anesthesiology

General anesthesia: Is not the first choice for anesthesia during C-section given the increased risks it creates for the mother and the medications it delivers to the baby immediately prior to deliver. However, there are circumstances that make it the best choice including patient related medical issues. Discuss this with your OB and get an anesthesia consult.

Answered 9/28/2016

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Dr. James Henning answered

Specializes in Anesthesiology

GA can be very safe: Although, as other mds have underscored, regional anesthesia (spinal or epidural) is the preferred choice in non-emergent scenarios. Mothers can experience the delivery while awake, many protective "reflexes" remain intact, and unnecessary risks for mother and baby are avoided. That said, in emergent or specific cases, ga is required and in experienced hands is extremely safe.

Answered 10/16/2013

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Dr. Irina Kovatch answered

Specializes in Surgery

Has risks: Regional anesthesia (RA) has a better safety profile for the mother and is preferred over general anesthesia (ga). Ga has a 17-fold higher complication rate than RA - difficult and failed intubation 8 times, low oxygen levels 3 times, aspiration, low blood pressure, increased risk of maternal mortality, and neonate effects (baby may need to be intubated because anesthetic agents cross placenta).

Answered 5/29/2016

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Dr. David Kinsman answered

Specializes in Anesthesiology

Yes.: All surgeries have certain risks. Talk with your anesthesiology physician and together work out a plan that manages your risks and maximizes benefits of the anesthetic. Sometimes in an emergency, there is only enough time to have a general anesthetic.

Answered 5/29/2016

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Dr. Vivian Hernandez-popp answered

Specializes in Anesthesiology

Yes: A c-section can be done under general or regional anesthesia.

Answered 9/28/2016

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