The term epidural is often short for epidural anesthesia, a form of regional anesthesia involving injection of drugs through a catheter placed into the epidural space.  The pain can cause both a loss of sensation (anesthesia) and a loss of pain (analgesia), by blocking the transmission of signals through nerves in or near the spinal cord.  A patient receiving an epidural for pain relief typically receives a combination of local anesthesia and opioids.

One of the most common uses of an epidural is an epidural block.  It’s a type of anesthesia that our Kentucky Anesthesia Group anesthesiologists and anesthetists may give during surgery to numb spinal nerves and prevent pain signals from traveling to the brain.  It usually begins to work in only 10 to 20 minutes.

An epidural block is a type of regional anesthesia that blocks pain sensation in the legs, abdomen or chest.  An epidural block involves injecting a local anesthetic near certain spinal nerves to numb a specific area of your body.  Kentucky Anesthesia Group administers epidural blocks for many surgeries and procedures.  An epidural block is an important tool used to manage pain while you remain awake or slightly sedated.  

Kentucky Anesthesia Group epidural blocks are given through a small, flexible tube, called a catheter, which goes near the spine at the small of the back.  Epidural block treatments safely offer substantial pain relief without surgery.  It delivers the medicine nonstop, so the patient feels no pain during surgery.  An epidural block targets the nerves that carry pain signals.  Even though you will not feel pain in the lower portion of your body, you may still be able to walk around with some help.  

Epidural blocks are corticosteroid injections which are used to decrease pain and inflammation.  To ensure accuracy and safety, our anesthesiologists perform the epidural blocks under fluoroscopic x-ray guidance, using a contrast agent to confirm needle placement.  Local anesthetic and corticosteroid anti-inflammatory medication are delivered into the epidural space to shrink the swelling around nerve roots, relieving pressure and pain.

An epidural block is a type of regional anesthesia that effectively blocks pain sensation in the legs, abdomen or chest.Your doctor may recommend an epidural block from one of our Kentucky Anesthesia Group anesthesiologists or anesthetists for any of the following procedures:

  • Abdominal surgery for postoperative pain control
  • Chest surgery for postoperative pain control
  • Cesarean section
  • Gastrointestinal surgery of the stomach, liver or intestines
  • Gynecologic surgery such as hysterectomy
  • Labor and vaginal delivery
  • Orthopedic surgery of the legs or feet
  • Pelvic or hip surgery
  • Urologic surgery of the prostate, kidney or bladder
  • Vascular surgery

Epidural blocks generally involve fewer side effects and complications than general anesthesia.  General anesthesia is a combination of intravenous (IV) medications and gases that put you in a deep sleep.  An epidural block typically has a lower risk of complications of the heart and lungs. 

Our anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists (CRNA) at Kentucky Anesthesia Group are committed to providing the best care throughout every procedure, putting every patient at ease before every epidural block procedure.    

For more information, contact our office at (859) 268-1030.