Neuraxial anesthesia is a type of regional anesthesia that involves injection of anesthetic medication in the fatty tissue that surround the nerve roots as they exist the spine (also known as an epidural) or into the cerebrospinal fluid which surrounds the spinal cord (also known as a spinal). This numbs the patient from the abdomen to the toes and often eliminates the need for general anesthesia.
The injection is performed under local anesthesia and sometimes with intravenous sedation. Patients experience little or no discomfort with this technique. Epidural anesthesia is used to provide anesthesia for labor and childbirth. In certain cases, epidural anesthesia can be used for pain relief after surgery in surgery of the lung, upper abdomen, and lower extremities.