What is Epidural and Spinal Anesthesia?

 

What is Epidural and Spinal Anesthesia?

These are two of the most common types of regional anesthesia. These two techniques are employed to “numb” the lower half of the body for many surgical and obstetric procedures.

Both techniques involve the placement of a needle and sometimes a small plastic tube (catheter) into the lower back region.  The procedure is done in a sterile manner with the patient either sitting or laying on their side.  A local anesthetic is used to numb the area prior to placement of an epidural or spinal anesthetic. This local anesthetic should make the remainder of the procedure pain free.  A separate dose of local anesthetics are then injected, achieving numbness of the desired areas. The numbness can last varying lengths of time based on the amount and type of local anesthetic used.

 

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