Doctor insights on:
Epidural Anesthesia Side Effects
The epidural space is an anatomical space just outside the fluid filled sac that contains the spinal cord and brain. Anesthesiologists and pain physicians are skilled at placing needles or catheters (tubes) into this space in the spinal canal to administer medications. These medicines can treat the pain of surgery or labor. These medicines can also be used to treat chronic ...Read more
Any part of spine: An epidural can be given anywhere along the full length of the spine. In the neck and upper spine, it is often used for pain management. An epidural can be placed in the mid-back for pain relief after chest or abdominal surgery. Epidurals are often placed in the lower back for labor pain, c-sections, or orthopedic surgery on the legs. So it depends on the need. ...Read moreSee 3 more doctor answers
Regional anesthesia: Regional: a general term for nerve blocks of the extremities head and torso. An epidural is a type of regional anesthesia that is used for numbing the lower body from the umbilicus down. A nerve block is a specific nerve(or nerves being numbed. An interscalene nerve block is used to numb one arm for example. But an ISB is a type of regional anesthesia. ...Read more
Received an epidural anesthesia for ease of labor on 5/25. It took the anesthesologist 5 tries. Normal?
Not unusual: Every patient is different, and the situation at the time of placement can vary. The positioning of the patient during an epidural is very important. If the patient is unable to bend forward to open up the spinous processes it can be difficult to pass the epidural needle. Patient's vary widely in body type, and in some patient's it is very difficult to find the correct landmarks for placement. ...Read moreSee 3 more doctor answers
Epidurals can help!: Definitely helps more than it hurts! epidurals can be wonderful to help with labor pain and provide safe anesthesia for c-sections. Epidural steroids can help a lot with back pain. Epidurals can also be great for orthopedic procedures on the hips or knees. The anesthesiologist will numb up the area well, so it should hurt very little to have an epidural put in. Definitely worth it! ...Read moreSee 3 more doctor answers
Level?: Most frequent complication is spinal headache which can be treated with epidural blood patch. If the epidural placement is above lumbar level, although very low risk, spinal cord can be penetrated, which can cause neuro deficit. If epidural catheter placed and migrates to spinal space severe hypotension or complete spinal can occur and it can require control of the airway until spinal wears off. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
What to expect for epidural anesthesia needle is pushed too far and the epidural anesthesia is injected into the area containing the CSF fluid and nerves?
That is a very: dangerous situation called a total spinal, your blood pressure will drop and you won't be able to breathe. But there will be emergency equipment immediately available and you should be 'saved' and just have to wait until it wears off. You will get a spinal headache afterwards ...Read more
Epidural anesthesia needle is pushed too far and the epidural anesthesia is injected into the area containing the CSF fluid and nerves, can you tell me more?
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. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Short-lived: General anesthesia that a mother receives passes through her system into the baby's system. However, it goes away quickly too. If the baby were born right away, it might be sleepy or need help with breathing. But assuming that the baby is not born yet, the anesthesia meds will be gone within a few hours. At 30 weeks, all the baby's organs and limbs are formed, so there is no risk of birth defects. ...Read moreSee 4 more doctor answers
Usually none: There are rarely psychological effects from anesthesia. Some people do have a phobia of needles, or losing control, but usually this is not a problem. The drugs themselves do not cause psychological effects. Some concerns do exist, in the extremes of age, of effects on the brain, but these are not clear at this time. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Many side effects: The side effects are many but fortunately short lived. Probably the most significant is post operative nausea in the immediate period after surgery, this is treatable. Prolonged "grogginess", confusion in the elderly, sleepiness, sore throat(transient) are other side effects. It is important to know that these are typically absent on day two. ...Read moreSee 3 more doctor answers
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