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.
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 your cost with the option of 0% finance. If you are using your health insurance please do 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*
- 0% and low interest finance options**
- Competitive fixed-price packages
- Modern purpose-built hospital
- Fast access to diagnostics including CT, MRI, X-Ray and Ultrasound
- 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
Contact our team to find out more information regarding private Epidural Anaesthetic or to book an initial consultation.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