Epidural anesthesia is most commonly used for pain-free labor. Through it, the mother can deliver her baby vaginally with no feeling of pain. The delivery will occur normally, even the contractions would also come, but you won’t feel them. During epidural anesthesia, the health care providers administer the injection directly into your back that numbs the lower part of your body.
The amazing part is you won’t be unconscious in the whole scenario. It is not only used for vaginal delivery. Instead, it is also used for surgeries done at the lower part of the body, like hemorrhoidectomy. If you are planning to have a delivery under epidural anesthesia, you should visit a spinal surgeon in Lahore.
Many people are worried and scared before taking epidural anesthesia. They have many concerns that bother them. People have a fear of getting a needle administered into their back and the risks associated with it. In this article, we will discuss things you should know before taking it.
How is Epidural Anesthesia Administered?
Your healthcare provider may ask you to lie on the side or sit with the back exposed. They will insert a needle into your back and a catheter attached to it. Then take out the needle, and the catheter will be left there. Through the catheter, your healthcare providers will keep administering epidural anesthesia. It is not given all at once. They will administer it slowly and gradually as you need. In the initial stage of labor, you may need a low dose of anesthetic, while as the labor progresses, you will be needing more anesthetic.
Does the Needle Insertion Cause Pain During Epidural Anesthesia?
Before inserting the needle, the healthcare providers will apply and administer local anesthetics on your back. Therefore you won’t feel much pain from needle insertion. You may have a feeling of numbness, burning, or pressure. But the procedure won’t be making you uncomfortable with pain.
How does Epidural Anesthesia Work?
Epidural anesthesia works by blocking the sensations from your belly button to the toe. Under the effect of spinal anesthesia, you will be awake, but you won’t be able to walk due to loss of sensations in the legs.
How Long will the Pain Relief with Epidural Anesthesia Last?
The pain relief will last as long as you keep getting the anesthetic. Your healthcare provider will decide how long and how much anesthetic you need. They will decide it considering your pains and other healthcare conditions.
Can Epidural Anesthesia Harm the Baby?
The baby receives a quite low amount of drug through epidural anesthesia. Therefore it doesn’t harm them.
Are there any Side Effects or Risks of Epidural Anesthesia?
Generally, epidural anesthesia is safe. However, it may cause some side effects such as:
Low blood pressure
A common side effect associated with epidural anesthesia is low blood pressure. During the whole procedure, the healthcare providers will monitor your blood pressure. To overcome low blood pressure, they may administer you fluids directly into your vein. Your low blood pressure can make your baby’s heart rate slow.
To deliver the medication, the healthcare providers will insert a needle into your back that can cause soreness in the back. However, it may last for some time. Epidural anesthesia does not cause permanent back pain.
In very few cases, epidural anesthesia can cause headache. It can occur because of the needle piercing into the spinal cord. If you have a headache after taking spinal anesthesia, you must talk to your anesthetist. Often, headache associated with epidural anesthesia resolves on their own.
Loss of Bladder Control
With epidural anesthesia, you would not be able to have bladder control. Therefore the healthcare providers will insert a catheter in your bladder to ensure adequate urine flow. After some time, as the effect of anesthesia wears off, you will be back to normal, the sensations would return.
Inadequate pain relief
Sometimes you may still feel pain even after taking epidural anesthesia. Therefore your healthcare providers may give you other pain reliever medication to relieve pain.
Very rarely, epidural anesthesia can cause labored breathing or drowsiness. You do not need to worry about it. Your healthcare providers will monitor you for it. But if you have any difficulty breathing after taking epidural anesthesia, you should tell your healthcare provider about it.
Epidural anesthesia can make vaginal delivery painless. It is often safe and does not cause much pain. You should discuss all your concerns with your healthcare provider before taking epidural anesthesia. If you have to undergo spinal surgery, you should visit a spinal surgeon in Islamabad.