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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.
- You may be asked to stop eating and drinking for 2-6 hours before the procedure.
- If possible, you will be asked to stop taking aspirin , anti-inflammatory medications, certain supplements such as vitamin E , and blood-thinning medications for up to 10 days before the procedure. Discuss stopping these medications with your doctor.
- You may be asked to avoid certain herbal supplements prior to the procedure, such as fish oil .
- Take your other medications as usual.
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.
- Continue bed rest and gradual gentle movement for the first 24 hours.
- For 2-3 days, avoid sudden movements, lifting, or strenuous physical activity.
- Drink plenty of fluids. You may eat a normal diet.
- Return to your activities as tolerated.
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
Krovvidi H, Hasan M. Epidural blood patch. CPD Anaesthesia. 2003;5(2):94-97.
Epidural blood patch. Newton Wellesley Hospital website. Available at: http://www.nwh.org/departments-and-services/pain/procedures/epidural-blood-patch/. Accessed June 19, 2014.
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. Accessed June 19, 2014.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 05/2014 -
- Update Date: 06/19/2014 -