Spinal and Epidural Anesthesia

These two types of anesthesia numb your body from the chest down to the legs. The medication is placed directly into the spine area.

  • Call Your Doctor

    After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occur:

    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Persistent or severe headache or back pain
    • Lightheadedness, fainting
    • Weakness, numbness, or tingling in your arms or legs
    • Loss of bladder or bowel control
    • Skin rash
    • Difficulty breathing

    In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition

    These two types of anesthesia numb your body from the chest down to the legs. The medication is placed directly into the spine area.

  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    Spinal and epidural anesthesia is frequently given for surgeries involving:

    • Pelvis, hips, and legs
    • Childbirth

    Advantages of these types of anesthesia include:

    • The ability to be awake during the operation

    • Avoiding complications of
      general anesthesia

  • Possible Complications

    Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have spinal and epidural anesthesia, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

    • Severe headache or back pain
    • Drop in blood pressure
    • Nerve damage
    • Infection
    • Allergic reaction to the anesthetic used
    • Longer labor during childbirth with an epidural anesthesia

    Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

    • Smoking
    • Bleeding disorders
    • Prior allergic reactions to anesthetics
    • Dehydration
    • Immune system disorders

    Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the surgery.