What Is a Side Effect of Spinal Block?


Quick Answer

Headaches are the most common side effect of spinal anesthesia, also known as a spinal block, says MediResource. A spinal block also causes backaches in some patients. Other side effects include a drop in blood pressure and dizziness.

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Full Answer

Spinal anesthesia involves fewer risks and side effects than general anesthesia, notes MedlinePlus. Possible complications include an allergic reaction, nerve damage, seizures and difficulty urinating. Bleeding around the spinal cord and an infection in the spine are also potential consequences of a spinal block. Some patients experience nausea and exhaustion. After undergoing the procedure, patients must lie down until feeling returns.

Spinal anesthesia patients recover more quickly than patients put under general anesthesia, according to MedlinePlus. Spinal anesthesia is commonly used for procedures involving the urinary tract, genitals and other parts of the lower body. A similar anesthesia, called an epidural, is often used on women during labor and delivery, as well as on patients undergoing leg and pelvic surgery.

A spinal block provides ideal operating conditions because the muscles remain relaxed and there is less blood loss than with other anesthesia, explains MediResource. It is especially beneficial for seniors, patients with severe lung disease and patients who are sensitive to general anesthetic.

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