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Reasons for Procedure
- Bad reaction to the anesthesia, contrast dye solution, or sedative medication—light-headedness and/or wheezing
- Taking blood thinners prior to the procedure
- Current infection
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Your doctor will do a thorough physical exam and explain the risks and benefits of the procedure.
- Discuss all allergies with your doctor.
- You will need to sign a consent form.
- Arrange for a ride home from the hospital.
- You may be asked to stop eating and drinking for 2-6 hours before the procedure.
- Certain medications may cause complications during the procedure or recovery. These medications may need to be stopped up to 10 days before the procedure. Talk to your doctor before the procedure about all medications, herbs, or supplements you are taking.
Description of the Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- You will be taken to a recovery room for a few hours.
- You will be asked to lie flat and still.
- You will be monitored and given IV fluids.
- After a few hours, you will be asked to get up and move around slowly.
- For 2-3 days, avoid sudden movements, lifting, or strenuous physical activity.
- Follow your doctor's instructions.
Call Your Doctor
- Continued pain or discomfort after 24 hours
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Limb weakness, numbness, or unusual sensations
- Trouble emptying bladder or bowels
- Stiff neck
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org
Family Doctor—American Family Physician http://familydoctor.org
Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society http://www.cas.ca
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada http://www.sogc.org
Epidural blood patch. Newton Wellesley Hospital website. Available at: http://www.nwh.org/departments-and-services/pain/procedures/epidural-blood-patch. Accessed June 4, 2015.
Krovvidi H, Hasan M. Epidural blood patch. CPD Anaesthesia. 2003;5(2):94-97.
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Epidural blood patch. University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health website. Available at: http://www.uwhealth.org/healthfacts/B%5FEXTRANET%5FHEALTH%5FINFORMATION-FlexMember-Show%5FPublic%5FHFFY%5F1105110029981.html. Updated October 2014. Accessed June 4, 2015.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 06/2015 -
- Update Date: 06/19/2014 -