Epidural anaesthetic

If you are considering having epidural anaesthetic, read all about it here.

What is an epidural anaesthetic?

An impacted lower wisdom tooth

An epidural anaesthetic (or epidural) involves injecting local anaesthetics and other painkillers into the epidural space (an area near your spinal cord). This numbs your nerves to give pain relief in certain areas of your body. An epidural can be used either on its own while you are awake, or together with sedation or a general anaesthetic. An epidural can also be used after an operation or procedure to give effective pain relief.

How does an epidural work?

To insert the epidural catheter, your anaesthetist will ask you to either sit up or lie on your side. Your anaesthetist will insert the epidural catheter using a needle. Your anaesthetist will inject a small amount of anaesthetic through the catheter to check the position. Once they have completed this check, they will give more of the anaesthetic until the epidural is working properly. The effect of the epidural can be varied by changing the type and amount of medication given. The more anaesthetic you are given, the more numb you will be.

How is an epidural given?

Most upper wisdom teeth can be removed easily under a local anaesthetic. Lower wisdom teeth can be more difficult to remove.

The procedure usually takes 10 minutes to an hour, depending on how many wisdom teeth need to be removed and how difficult they are to remove.

Removing a wisdom tooth can involve cutting the gum to uncover your tooth, removing bone around your tooth and dividing your tooth with a drill.

What complications can happen?

Bear in mind that there is a risk of significant permanent harm from an epidural. There are few complications that can arise, such as:

  • Failure of the epidural
  • Low blood pressure
  • Headache
  • Respiratory depression, where your breathing slows down too much
  • Itching
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Temporary leg weakness
  • Backache
  • Seizures
  • Unexpected high block, if the local anaesthetic spreads beyond the intended area
  • Infection around your spine
  • Cardiovascular collapse (where your heart stops)
  • Nerve damage
  • Blood clot around your spine
  • Damage to nerves supplying your bladder and bowel
  • Paralysis or death

Late complications

However, a complication may happen after the epidural has been removed.

  • Pus, redness, tenderness or pain
  • A high temperature
  • Feeling unwell
  • Discomfort when in a bright room or sunlight
  • Neck stiffness
  • Difficulty moving or feeling your legs
  • Difficulty passing urine
  • Bowel incontinence

How soon will I recover?

An epidural can affect your reactions. It is very important that you cannot drive, operate machinery or do any potentially dangerous activities (this includes cooking) until you have fully recovered feeling, movement and co-ordination.

Summary

An epidural anaesthetic can be used for most people, usually giving a safe and effective form of pain relief both during and after an operation or procedure. To find out more, call us on 0808 101 0337 or make an online enquiry

Acknowledgements

Author: Mr Andrew Sidebottom FDSRCS FRCS
Illustrator: Medical Illustration Copyright © Nucleus Medical Art. All rights reserved. www.nucleusinc.com

Pricing

Epidural (local anaesthetic) (spine injection)

Patient pathway Initial consultation Main treatment Post discharge care Total
Hospital fees N/A £1,296 Included £1,296
Consultants fees £200 Included Included £200
Total £1,496
Initial consultation
Hospital fees N/A
Consultants fees £200
Main treatment
Hospital fees £1,296
Consultants fees Included
Post discharge care
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees Included
Total £1,496

Epidural spine injection for pain (local anaesthetic)

Patient pathway Initial consultation Main treatment Post discharge care Total
Hospital fees N/A £958 Included £958
Consultants fees £200 Included Included £200
Total £1,158
Initial consultation
Hospital fees N/A
Consultants fees £200
Main treatment
Hospital fees £958
Consultants fees Included
Post discharge care
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees Included
Total £1,158

Terms & Conditions

This is a guide price for your consultation and treatment package. Your consultant will be able to discuss treatment options and costs with you (subject to your pre-assessment tests) so you are able to make an informed decision that's right for you. Not all consultants participate in the treatment package option as displayed above. The fixed cost will be confirmed in writing at time of booking your treatment. Prices can be subject to change. For more information please refer to our terms and conditions.

What to do next

Speak to us today about how to get referred for this treatment. Meet with a consultant of your choice, with appointments usually available within 48 hours.

Call us free on:

0808 101 0337 0808 101 0337

Want to look at other treatments? or find it on the A-Z list.