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A 35-year-old female asked:

Side effects of regional anesthesia for delivery?

4 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Newman
Anesthesiology 36 years experience
Regional anesthesia: Regional anesthesia is extremely safe and commonly used during labor and delivery. At my institution the epidural rate is nearly 90%. We are careful to use as low doses of local anesthetic and opioid combinations. The common effects seen are decreased sensation and motor strength in the lower extremities (expected) and occasionally a decreased blood pressure (also expected) which we treat prn.
Dr. Daniel Perlin
Anesthesiology 28 years experience
Very safe as a rule : Infection bleeding, approximately 1-2% may have a post dural puncture headache that is self limiting in most cases but may require epidural blood patch. There is a risk of neurologic damage including nerve root irritation or complete paralysis in very rare circumstances that is related to epidural hematoma or damage, seizure or arrythmia is possible. Regional anesth is very safe and risk is low.
Dr. Richard Pollard
Anesthesiology 30 years experience
Minimal: Regional anesthesia for delivery is the most common form of pain control in the us. The local anesthetic (la) usually has a small amount of narcotic added to provide additional pain control. Side effects of the la include decreased sensation and motor strength in the lower extremities. There can also be a drop in blood pressure which is easy to treat. The narcotic can cause mild itching.
Dr. Rodney Del Valle
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Few: Nausea and vomiting, drop in bp, itching, headache, fetal heart rate abnormalities, back pain, respiratory problems. All well understood and easy to manage and not very common.

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Last updated Mar 13, 2016
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