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Spinal Anesthesia – Complications

December 22, 2021


Common complications may result from a spinal block. Those are related to the local anesthetics in your nerve system. They could be as a result of the anesthesia technique. Side effects tend to be minor and self resolving or easily treatable. Major complications can occur as a result, or serious or permanent neurological damage. Those are very uncommon. The common and minor complications include low blood pressure that can be treated by the anesthesiologist with injection of medications through the IV catheter. You may experience a slow heart rate. Some people get nauseous, may have vomiting. That’s also easily treatable. And some people may have a post spinal headache, which is a positional headache that gets worse when you sit up. Permanent complications are rare. Some major complications include nerve injuries, mainly to the nerves in your back. Some people may experience cardiac arrest, severe low blood pressure, and what we call the epidural hematoma, which is a collection of blood around your spinal cord. If that’s the case, you’ll be monitored very closely and may need surgery to remove that collection of blood from your spinal cord. Rarely, you may experience an infection which is meningitis. That’s extremely uncommon, because we clean your skin really well before we do the spinal block.

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