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Know the Spinal Anesthesia Process and its Side Effects

Spinal anesthesia is an alternative to general anesthesia performed for some surgeries. Spinal anesthesia functions as a painkiller in the area below the waist, and allows the patient to stay awake during surgery. This method is generally safe, although some patients experience nausea and dizziness as side effects after surgery.

Spinal Anesthesia

Spinal anesthesia is performed by anesthetists. Spinal anesthesia is usually done in the operating room. Spinal anesthesia will be given in a sitting position with the body toward the front, or lying on your side with your knees bent toward the chest. This position will help open the gap between vertebrae to inject anesthesia under spinal anesthesia. The anesthesiologist will then mark the location to be given spinal anesthesia, after giving the antiseptic first. The doctor will insert a very fine needle into the middle of the lower back in the vertebrae, then anesthesia is injected through the needle into the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the spinal cord. Even if it hurts, it's important not to move at this time. Within 5-10 minutes, the patient begins to have difficulty moving his feet until he is unable to move his legs at all. Spinal anesthesia will also affect the sensory nerves in the body below the injection site, such as the stomach, lower hips, genital area, thighs and legs, so that the nerves are numb (numb) and cannot feel pain. Spinal anesthesia is mostly used for surgeries involving the area from the waist to the feet, including:
  • Caesarean section
  • Surgery of the uterus, vagina or ovaries
  • Surgery on the bones in the hip hips and joints
  • Surgery on the veins in the leg
  • Prostate, bladder, or genital surgery
  • Other operations, such as hernias, varicose veins, and hemorrhoids

Determine the Right Spinal Anesthesia

Spinal anesthesia in general allows patients to be aware and able to hear what is happening in the operating room, but does not feel pain in the process of surgery. In certain medical conditions, spinal anesthesia can be combined with sedation or general anesthesia. The doctor will provide several choices and help the patient to make the best decision.
  • Spinal anesthesia combined with sedation

  • In this case, the anesthesiologist will give a small amount of the drug into the patient's infusion, thereby making the patient feel the effects of sedation, which is feeling relaxed and drowsy. The patient will be semi-conscious and can still hear the sounds around him even if only a little.
  • Spinal Anesthesia followed by General Anesthesia

  • In some situations, the anesthesiologist can use a combination of spinal anesthesia and general anesthesia. Usually if there are unexpected situations during surgery, such as the patient starts to feel uncomfortable or the operation will apparently take much longer. This condition makes the patient need to be given general anesthesia, which will make the patient unconscious during the surgery.

Be Wary of the Side Effects of Spinal Anesthesia

Spinal anesthesia is generally safe. Side effects that usually occur are nausea, dizziness, cold and fatigue. After the anesthetic effect ends, the patient can gradually move his legs as usual. In addition, there are also those who feel itching after spinal anesthesia and experience low blood pressure. Especially in men, the side effect of spinal anesthesia that is often complained of is difficulty urinating. Some risks of complications from spinal anesthesia that may occur,:
  • Allergic reaction
  • Severe headache
  • Bleeding around the spine (hematoma)
  • Spinal infection
  • Convulsions
  • Nerve Damage
Spinal anesthesia can be used for certain types of operations. However, consider the risk of side effects of this type of anesthesia with your doctor, especially if you have special health conditions.


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