Epidural anaesthetic

What is an epidural?

An epidural anaesthetic involves injecting drugs into an area called the epidural space near the spinal cord. The drugs numb your nerves to give pain relief in certain areas of your body. Epidurals can be used either on their own while you are awake, or together with sedation or general anaesthesia. They can also be used after your operation to give effective pain relief. The epidural can be maintained by giving extra doses when needed or by giving a continuous low dose.

epidural anaesthetic 

What does the procedure involve?

Your anaesthetist will insert an epidural catheter using a needle (see figure 1). They will then inject a small amount of drug through the catheter to check the position. Once they have completed this check, they will give more of the drug until the epidural is working properly. The effect of the epidural can be varied by changing the type and amount of drug given.

What complications can happen?

  • Failure of the epidural
  • Low blood pressure
  • Headache
  • Respiratory depression
  • Itching
  • Bladder-emptying problems
  • Leg weakness
  • Backache
  • Infection around the spine
  • Seizures, due to the local anaesthetics
  • Short-term nerve injury
  • Blood clot around the spine
  • Damage to nerves
  • Paralysis 

Summary 

An epidural can be used for most people, usually giving a safe and effective form of pain relief both during and after your operation. Paying for your procedure Epidural anaesthetic costs are covered by most medical insurance policies, but please check with your insurer first. If you are paying for your own procedure the cost will be explained and confirmed in writing when you book the procedure. Ask the hospital for a quote beforehand, and ensure that this includes the surgeon’s fee, the anaesthetist’s fee and the hospital charge for your procedure. 

Acknowledgements 

Author: Dr Iain Moppett DM MRCP FRCA Illustrations: LifeART image copyright 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. All rights reserved. This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

Copyright © 2008 EIDO Healthcare Limited The operation and treatment information on this website is produced by EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by BMI Healthcare. The intellectual property rights to the information belong exclusively to EIDO Healthcare Limited.

Pricing

Epidural (local anaesthetic) (spine injection)

Patient pathway Initial consultation Diagnostic investigations Main treatment Post discharge care Total
Hospital fees N/A Included £1,259 Included £1,259
Consultants fees £200 N/A Included Included £200
Total £1,459
Initial consultation
Hospital fees N/A
Consultants fees £200
Diagnostic investigations
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees N/A
Main treatment
Hospital fees £1,259
Consultants fees Included
Post discharge care
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees Included
Total £1,459

Epidural spine injection for pain (local anaesthetic)

Patient pathway Initial consultation Diagnostic investigations Main treatment Post discharge care Total
Hospital fees N/A Included £930 Included £930
Consultants fees £200 N/A Included Included £200
Total £1,130
Initial consultation
Hospital fees N/A
Consultants fees £200
Diagnostic investigations
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees N/A
Main treatment
Hospital fees £930
Consultants fees Included
Post discharge care
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees Included
Total £1,130

Terms & Conditions

Treatment prices displayed are a guide for initial consultation, and a guide price for our fixed price packages which include pre-assessment, procedure and aftercare. Your Consultant will be able to discuss costs in greater detail at your consultation, after which a quote of your fixed price package will be provided [which is subject to results of any pre-assessment tests]. Prices can be subject to change.

For more information please refer to our terms and conditions (large print version).

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