Epidural Anaesthetic


An epidural anaesthetic is an injection used to numb your back and legs during and following surgery, or to alleviate pain. It is different to a spinal anaesthetic, also known as a spinal block, because an epidural is administered through a catheter so anaesthesia can be delivered as need over an extended period of time. A spinal anaesthetic is a single injection for a fixed period of time.


Because they are longer lasting than a spinal anaesthetic, an epidural anaesthetic may be recommended for surgical procedures that last 3 hours or more. It may be combined with a general anaesthetic so you are asleep. An epidural may also be recommended because the catheter can be left in after your operation for continued pain relief. Having an epidural might also mean you don’t have to have a general anaesthetic, avoiding the possible side-effects of a general anaesthetic, such as feeling sick, or getting a sore throat or a chest infection.


What happens during this procedure?

The skin around the injection site will be cleaned with antiseptic and you will be given an injection of local anaesthetic to numb the area.


Your Anaesthetist will then use a needle to insert a catheter into the epidural space, the area surrounding the spinal cord and the nerves coming out of it. You may feel some pressure or a dull ache but the injection is not generally painful.


Your Anaesthetist will control the amount, strength and type of medicine administered to achieve the right level of pain relief, or a complete block of all feeling in your body below the site of the injection, ready for surgery.


If you’re having an epidural for surgery you will stay awake during the procedure, but your anaesthetist may also offer a sedative to help you relax.


How long will it take to recover?

After an epidural, you’ll need to rest until the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off. Feeling and movement should return to normal within a few hours, often beginning with a tingling sensation.


If returning home within 24 hours of having an epidural anaesthetic you will need someone to drive you.


Recovery will depend on the treatment you have received. Your consultant will advise how long you should rest for and when you can resume your normal activities.  If you have bruising and tenderness around the injection site this can be relieved with painkillers and an ice pack.


Need Help?

At One Healthcare we can book you in to see a specialist Pain Management or Spinal Consultant, usually within 48 hours, for an initial consultation.  Epidural anaesthetic is available at One Ashford Hospital in Kent and One Hatfield Hospital in Hertfordshire.


You can use your private medical insurance or pay for your Epidural Anaesthetic treatment. We offer competitive, fixed price packages as well as the ability to spread the cost of your treatment over a number of months. If you are using your health insurance, please contact your insurer first for approval and let them know you’d like to be treated at One Ashford Hospital

Why One Ashford Hospital

  • Access to leading Consultants within 48 hours*
  • Spread the cost with finance**
  • Competitive fixed-price packages
  • Modern purpose-built hospital
  • Private, spacious, ensuite rooms
  • Specialist Physiotherapy and nursing teams
  • Little waiting time for surgery
  • Calm, dignified experience

*Dependent on Consultant availability
**Terms and conditions apply

Contact us and find out more

If you are based in and around Kent, Maidstone, Dover, Canterbury or Folkestone and would like to visit the One Ashford Hospital please click here

Pain Management Pricing Guide at One Ashford Hospital

This is a list of guide prices for some of common Pain Management treatments and procedures.

Treatment Guide Price Monthly from
Back Pain - Dorsal Root Block £1,850 £43.01
Back Pain - Epidural Injection £1,850 £43.01
Back Pain - Facet Joint Injection £1,850 £43.01
Back Surgery (Discectomy) £7,150 £166.25
Back Surgery (Decompression) £8,865 £206.13

If treatment for your condition is not listed above, contact the hospital on 01233 423000 where a member of our Reservations team can provide you with a quote. 

Contact the Hospital About Epidural Anaesthetic