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Spinal anesthesia is a way to control pain during surgery.
A doctor with special training will give you a shot of the medicine. It's given near your spinal cord and the nerves that connect to it.
You may get this medicine for surgery on the lower part of your body. This includes your lower belly, hips, or legs.
You may need to sit up and lean forward. Or you will lie on your side with your knees curled up to your chest.
First you will get a shot to numb the skin on your back. Then the doctor will give a shot of the anesthetic near your spinal cord.
Your body will soon feel numb below and a little above the place where you had the shot. You may not be able to move your legs for a few hours.
You may also get other medicines for pain or to help you relax. You may get them through a tube in your vein, called an IV. They may make you feel sleepy.
Spinal anesthesia lets your doctor block pain from one area of your body. It's used instead of general anesthesia, which affects your whole body and puts you into deep sleep. Spinal anesthesia doesn't put you to sleep. It's less likely to affect your breathing. It also has fewer side effects.
After your surgery:
For minor surgeries, you may go home the same day. For other surgeries, you may stay in the hospital.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
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Current as of: February 11, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & John M. Freedman MD - Anesthesiology
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