Anesthesia is used to eliminate sensation , both painful and sensitive to performing a medical procedure, especially surgery. Epidural and Spinal Anesthesia
There are several anesthesia techniques, so the most suitable one is chosen according to the desired effect. These include local anesthesia, regional (epidural or spinal) which does not affect consciousness , that is, the individual remains awake, in addition to general anesthesia in which the patient falls asleep completely.
Local anesthesia is applied, for example, on the edges of a wound to suture it, a type of local anesthesia is truncal, which consists of blocking a nerve so that it has a larger anesthetic area, it can be used in procedures such as surgery of hand. In the case of epidural and spinal anesthesia, anesthetics are administered at the level of the spine, whereas it is usually given intravenously. Epidural and Spinal Anesthesia
In which cases are epidurals and spinals used?
Both techniques are used to block pain during some types of surgery. Especially in the pelvic, inguinal or lower limbs area.
These techniques are of choice in cesarean sections, uterine or ovarian gynecological surgeries, natural childbirth, sterilization, inguinal hernia repair, appendicitis, leg trauma surgery and in patients with contraindications for general anesthesia.
Differences between epidural and spinal anesthesia
In both cases, anesthesia is applied at the level of the spinal canal, located inside the spine. The difference is in the compartment where the anesthetic drugs are applied. Epidural and Spinal Anesthesia
It is worth remembering that the medulla, like the brain, is covered by three membranes known as the meninges, which are the pia mater which directly covers the structures of the central nervous system , followed by the arachnoid and more superficially the dura. mater.
Between the dura mater and the arachnoid, the subdural space is located, while outside the dura mater, that is, between the dura mater and the bone, there is the epidural space.
During spinal anesthesia, a needle is inserted in the posterior part of the back, between two vertebrae and directed until reaching the dura mater, crossing it to reach the subarachnoid space, where the anesthetic is applied. In the case of epidural anesthesia, the needle stops before reaching the dura mater, applying the drugs in the epidural space. Epidural and Spinal Anesthesia
The anesthetics application site allows to achieve some differentiated effects. In the case of epidural anesthesia, a more selective anesthesia can be performed, eliminating pain and preserving some nerve functions. Likewise, it is possible to leave a catheter that allows the application of anesthetics during the postoperative period.
Spinal anesthesia performs a complete blockage of nerve functions, in addition to sensitivity, it has a duration of effect that can be shorter and a single application can be made, since it is not possible to leave catheters in the space where it is applied.
In some procedures, epidural anesthesia is combined with general anesthesia, this is particularly useful in the case of surgeries that need to work in different anatomical areas (for example, in plastic surgery) and in those where there may be severe pain in the postoperative period (as it is the case of surgery to remove the uterus known as hysterectomy). Epidural and Spinal Anesthesia