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Surely from the moment you got pregnant you began to imagine what your delivery would be like; there is no woman who the first time is not afraid of pain. So spinal and epidural anesthesia have brought relief to millions of women around the world.
These anesthesia are used to numb the middle and lower part of the body by blocking pain. Although they are mainly used to eradicate labor pain and dilation, they are also used for interventions on the urinary tract, kidneys, legs and feet, since they pose a lower risk to health than general anesthesia. So what is the difference between them? Basically each one is used for different interventions.
Both are introduced into the body through a puncture in the back, but the difference is that, while the epidural is placed around the spinal cord, in a thick layer called the dura; the spinal is inoculated into the dura, that is, into the spinal cord or spinal space (hence its name).
This, which may seem a bit complicated to understand, translates into two different behaviors of anesthesia:
1- The epidural needs to go through that thick layer of the dura mater, with what smore amount of anesthesia is required to take effect and more time for it to penetrate. Normally it usually takes effect in about 20 minutes, and its scope is greater in time. Sometimes a catheter is placed in the area through which more anesthesia can be supplied when the effects diminish, this makes it the most used at the time of delivery since the dilation lasts several hours.
2- On the other hand, spinal anesthesia, when introduced directly into the spinal space, takes effect immediately, less amount of product is needed and its effect is short-lived, so it is usually used for shorter interventions such as cesarean sections.
The risks in both are similar:
- Allergic reactions.
- Difficulty urinating.
- Lower blood pressure.
- Infection in the spine.
- Neurological damage.
- Strong headache.
Side effects are rare and always much less than general anesthesia.
You can read more articles similar to Differences between epidural and spinal anesthesia in childbirth, in the category of Delivery on site.