Both the epidural and spinal anesthesia are medicines that numb parts of the body to not be able to feel pain, but the person is still awake.

We tell you which are some of the differences between the epidural and spinal:
  • The epidural anesthesia is slower but long lasting effect while a spinal anesthesia is very quick but time-limited. It is for this reason that we prefer the first one for the normal delivery, while the second for the c-section
  • The epidural anesthesia, also called an epidural, is an anesthesia where the drug anesthetic is introduced to the patient outside of the dura mater, which is the thicker layer of the covering of the spinal cord, while the spinal anesthesia (also called a spinal) drug anesthetic is introduced into the patient through the inside of the dura mater, that is to say in space spinal.
  • The epidural is administered in a dry place, in exchange for the spinal is administered in a humid place, because you have to wait a little liquid to make sure that you are in the right place.
  • In the case of the epidural you need a higher amount of the drug because the dura is very resistant to the passage of the anesthesia, since it is a membrane such as waterproof, therefore, we need more of the drug to achieve the ultimate goal, while the spinal enters directly into the space and bathing the cord.}
  • The epidural takes about 20 minutes to take effect, while the spinal only seconds to take effect.
  • The epidural requires a trocar thicker than the spinal, allowing you to place a catheter to administer repeated doses, and in this way to manage pain of longer duration such as labor.
The doctor who applies the epidural or spinal anesthesia is called an anesthesiologist.

For epidural anesthesia:

  • The doctor injects medicine just outside the sac of fluid around the spinal cord, called the epidural space.
  • The medicine numbs, or blocks feeling in a certain part of the body that you can not feel pain. Begins to take effect in approximately 10 to 20 minutes and works well for longer proceedings. Women are often given epidural anesthesia during labor and delivery.
  • Often, they leave a tube (catheter) small in the place. You can receive more medicine through the catheter to help control pain during or after the procedure.

For a spinal anesthesia (epidural):

  • The anesthesiologist injects medicine into the fluid in the spinal cord. This is usually done only once, this way you will not need to wear a catheter.
  • The medication begins to take effect immediately and works well for procedures shorter and more simple.
During the procedure, we review the levels of oxygen in the blood, pulse, and blood pressure. After the procedure, you will have a bandage where the needle was inserted.
The epidural anesthesia and spinal are generally safe. Ask your doctor about these complications:
  • Allergic reaction to the anesthesia used
  • Bleeding around the spinal column (hematoma)
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Infection in your spine (meningitis or abscess)
  • Neurological damage
  • Seizures (this is rare)
  • Headache strong

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