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It is the classic scene of Turkish films. The original girl scratches the sheets and gives birth in pain. Or in another scene, the prospective father smokes cigarettes on the door of the maternity ward while the screaming comes from the inside. It is natural for birth to be a very painful event in the thoughts of young girls who have been growing up with these scenes and the horrific birth stories of women around them since childhood. VKV American Hospital Specialist in Women's Health Unit. View Senai's Full Profile Epidural anesthesia and painless birth.
Pregnant women, in fact, should wait for the day of feast. However, birth pain is not as scary as it is in thoughts and it is possible to eliminate the rest of today's medical facilities. Increased application of epidural anesthesia more often allows the mother to participate in this wonderful event by completely eliminating birth pain. However, as with any medical intervention, epidural anesthesia has side effects and risks.
How is epidural anesthesia performed?
The main purpose of epidural anesthesia is to completely eliminate or at least reduce birth pain. On the other hand, to facilitate the course of birth by preventing the fatigue of the mother. The purpose of this intervention, performed by an anesthesiologist, is to block the sense of pain caused by uterine contractions and the progression of the baby in the birth canal.
The procedure is performed by placing a needle in the epidural space under roughly sterile conditions. First, the patient is instructed to lean forward in the sitting or lying position to determine the appropriate backbone range. After necessary cleaning and a small local anesthesia, the needle is placed in the appropriate area by the doctor. In the meantime, it is very important that the patient remains inactive. After the needle enters the epidural space, a plastic hose called a very fine catheter is passed through it. It is normal to feel a slight transient electric current. Then the catheter is left in place and the needle is withdrawn and anesthetic is administered. In general, the effect is seen within 10 to 15 minutes and the sense of pain disappears.
When is epidural anesthesia used?
The use of epidural anesthesia prevents maternal fatigue during labor and reduces postpartum recovery and recovery time. Today, it should be used in almost every birth before the procedure to perform the procedure to consult with the anesthesiologist is useful to be examined. Thus, it may be possible to detect situations that may prevent epidural anesthesia in advance.
Epidural anesthesia, especially in cases of hypertension, heart disease, epilepsy, prevents tension changes or crises due to pain during childbirth.
It can be used to perform this operation if the delivery returns to caesarean section. Thus, it is possible to avoid the drawbacks of a general anesthesia to be performed in emergency conditions.
Epidural anesthesia will be performed at the stage of delivery, but generally when the cervix starts to open and enlarged up to 4 cm. However, it is possible to place the epidural catheter and administer the medication later, depending on the condition of the cervix.
What are the side effects and complications of epidural anesthesia?
As with any medical intervention, epidural anesthesia has side effects and complications. However, these negative conditions are reduced depending on the experience of the anesthesiologist.
First of all, it is necessary to know that epidural anesthesia is not always effective. The same dose of the drug can give different results in different people.
- In rare cases, the epidural space is divided into two by a thin membrane. In this case, a second injection may be required as epidural anesthesia affects only one side of the body.
- Epidural anesthesia may not be performed in case of an infection, abscess or fever exceeding 38 degrees in relation to the waist area where the procedure will be performed.
- In the same way, epidural anesthesia cannot be performed in people with bleeding and clotting disorders.
- Spinal disorders, curvatures or hernia do not always interfere with epidural anesthesia. In such cases, the anesthesiologist should be informed.
Epidural anesthesia can cause headaches that last for a few days in some rare cases.
- In rare cases, long-term back pain may occur. The duration of these pains usually does not exceed 48 hours. The rate of low back pain after birth was the same in women with and without epidural anesthesia.
Frequently asked questions about epidural anesthesia
- Does epidural anesthesia affect my baby?
Since the dose of anesthetic agent used is very low, some of this anesthetic agent passes through the placenta but does not have an effect on the baby.
- Can I give my baby milk?
In the same way, because the dose of anesthesia drugs used is very low, the portion of these drugs that pass into breast milk is at a dose that does not affect the baby.
- Is there a risk of paralysis?
One of the most frequently asked questions is the risk of paralysis. Today, the drugs used in this type of complications are close to zero probability.
- Does epidural anesthesia prolong labor or increase the frequency of using vacuum and forceps?
This is one of the most controversial issues. The accepted opinion is that epidural anesthesia prolongs the delivery time by 1-2 hours. There was no increase in the frequency of using vacuum or forceps or cesarean section.
- Is it a painful procedure?Since local anesthesia is performed before the procedure, the procedure is painless. Epidural anesthesia is effective in 10 - 15 minutes after the procedure.
- How long does epidural anesthesia last?
Since a catheter is left in the epidural space and a continuous anesthetic is administered, the duration of anesthesia can be maintained as long as desired. All the effects of epidural anesthesia disappear within 2-3 hours after birth.