Pregnancy / Childbirth

Spinal anesthesia - what is it about?


Subarachnoid anesthesia is local anesthesia used for elective caesarean section and when there is enough time to wait for the anesthesia to work. During spinal anesthesia, the patient remains aware. This anesthesia puts a much lower burden on the body than general anesthesia.

Spinal anesthesia takes time

Subarachnoid anesthesia is not applicable in an emergency. When every moment counts, it applies General anesthesia, which works faster and allows for an immediate termination of pregnancy by Caesarean section. Subarachnoid anesthesia begins to work on average 15 minutes after administration (usually 10-20 minutes after administration), for about 2 hours.

Spinal anesthesia may have complications for the woman giving birth, but it's safe (as opposed to the more risky general anesthesia) for a child. The applied anesthesia does not penetrate into the child's blood. It works relatively short and its effects can be quickly reversed.

Both subarachnoid and general anesthetics are used for cesarean section.

To relieve pain during childbirth, epidural anesthesia is used, which allows active childbirth except pain.

What does spinal anesthesia look like?

During spinal anesthesia the woman is aware can talk, just after the birth of a child can look at it. He does not feel pain, touch, temperature, there is no feeling within the area where the anesthesia works, cannot move in this area.

Subarachnoid anesthesia is administered using a needle to the subarachnoid space in the spine, in the lumbar region (lower back). The woman is lying on her side or sitting. Before performing anesthesia, the puncture site is anesthetized. The procedure is carried out anesthesiologist. After its completion it is necessary to monitor the patient's condition.

Complications after subarachnoid anesthesia

  • punctuation syndrome - with characteristic severe headache after anesthesia. To prevent punctual syndrome, it is recommended to lie for 24 hours after cesarean section.
  • puncture site infection
  • urinary retention,
  • nerve root irritation syndrome,
  • fall in blood pressure and slow heart rate (rare)
  • about 30% of women develop back pain which can last for several days, weeks and in rare cases constantly (as a result of nerve damage).

When to see a doctor immediately

If a fever, loss of control of the bladder, sphincter, leakage from the puncture site occur after subarachnoid anesthesia, go to the hospital immediately.

Medical consultation also requires a situation in which, as time goes by, the pain instead of diminishing increases.