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What is epidural anesthesia?

There are 3 layers surrounding the spinal cord. The dura is the outside layer. Epidural anesthesia is the use of the space above the dura to administer anesthesia pain medication. A catheter can be inserted into the space for medications to be administered. Epidural anesthesia can be administered during surgery. Most often, epidural anesthesia can be utilized after surgery for administration of medication to prevent pain. It has the advantage of promoting comfort in the area of surgery with fewer side effects than narcotic pain medication. Each person will be evaluated by the anesthesiologist to determine if the patient is a candidate for epidural anesthesia. There may be structural spinal problems that may influence the decision to use epidural anesthesia. A preoperative evaluation and discussion with the anesthesiologist will guide decisions and options.

Dr. Anita Gupta
Anesthesiology
This is a type of anesthesia delivered via catheter or needle to the epidural space, a region between the spinal cord and vertebral canal. Compared to general anesthesia, epidural anesthesia has fewer risks and allows patients to recover faster. It is commonly used to reduce pain during labor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.