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Alternative to epidural for ELCS

(8 Posts)
Jenjen85 Wed 27-Jul-16 22:03:36

Is there another option to an epidural for a c section. Baby is currently transverse but got a scan next week to confirm but i really dont want an epidural due to existing back problems. Is there another option to numb your lower half or is it just an epidural?

welshweasel Wed 27-Jul-16 22:05:08

It's usually a spinal anaesthetic for an elective section (still involves a needle in the back). Only other option is a general anaesthetic. Why exactly are you worried about having a spinal?

Primaryteach87 Wed 27-Jul-16 22:05:59

^ Yep Spinal is the norm.

doodlejump1980 Wed 27-Jul-16 22:06:31

Sections are usually done with a spinal block. I had a spinal with my emcs, and three failed epidurals only other option I guess would be a full general anaesthetic?

CraftyPenguin Wed 27-Jul-16 22:07:59

If you can't really have an epidural or spinal, the only option is a general anaesthetic. Have you had an appointment with an anaesethist at all?

Jenjen85 Wed 27-Jul-16 22:14:44

Dont want a general anaesthetic but didnt know if there was any otger options. Not seen the consultant yet that will only happen once iv had my scan next week and if baby is still transverse. Iv heard that epidurals can agrivate existing back conditions which id ideally like to avoid

CraftyPenguin Wed 27-Jul-16 22:22:54

Your best bet is to ask you consultant for an appointment with the anaesethist regardless. Your baby may turn so you won't be booked in for an elcs but just incase you end up needing an emcs, it's worth knowing if you can have a spinal/epidural or not.

The anaesthetist will be able to tell you if you can have one based on your back issues and if not then discuss having a GA. Fingers crossed you won't need one, but it really is worth seeing them and getting a plan in place. This is what I had to do. Never thought I'd need a c section but to due my back issues I saw an anaesethist "just in case" so we had a plan - good job we did really as I ended up with a c section.

SockQueen Wed 27-Jul-16 23:22:13

Depends on what your back issues are. If you've had previous complex surgery e.g. for scoliosis, or have metalwork in your back, a spinal or epidural may not be possible. If it's more just that you have back pain, or even that you've had things like disc surgery, there's no hard evidence that having a spinal injection makes these conditions worse - the needle is tiny, and lasting damage is incredibly rare. Pregnancy and the post-partum period put huge strain on the connective tissues (ligaments, tendons etc) in your back and can themselves cause worsening of existing pain.

For an ElCS, the only options are a GA or a spinal/epidural (slightly different procedures but both involve a needle in your back). Ask if you can speak to an anaesthetist beforehand - you will see one on the day but if you have lots of questions it might be better to have this conversation early rather than feeling rushed on the day of surgery.

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