First Time User? Enroll now.
COVID-19: Vaccine information, visitor restrictions, testing, treatment, and additional resources
Home > Health Library > Spinal Anesthesia
Spinal anesthesia is a way to control pain during surgery.
A doctor or nurse 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.
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.
Major side effects from spinal anesthesia aren't common. It may affect blood pressure, breathing , heartbeat, and other vital functions. Your anesthesia provider will closely watch your vital signs during anesthesia and surgery. This includes your blood pressure and heart rate.
After your surgery, you may have a spinal headache. This is a headache that gets worse when you sit or stand up but goes away when you lie down. Your anesthesia provider may treat the pain with a shot called an epidural blood patch.
Current as of:
June 23, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Adam Husney MD - Family MedicineJohn M. Freedman MD - Anesthesiology
Current as of: June 23, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & John M. Freedman MD - Anesthesiology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
34 Healthpark Way
Suite 100 C
Clayton, NC 27520
781 Avent Ferry Road
REX Healthcare of Holly Springs, Suite 212
Holly Springs, NC 27540
4207 Lake Boone Trail
Rexwoods II, Suite 220
Raleigh, NC 27607