What is an epidural?
An epidural anaesthetic (or epidural) involves injecting local anaesthetics and other painkillers into an area called the epidural space, near your spinal cord. This numbs your nerves to give pain relief in certain areas of your body. An epidural can be used either on its own while you are awake, or together with sedation or a general anaesthetic. An epidural can also be used after an operation or procedure to give effective pain relief.
The epidural can be maintained by giving extra doses or by giving a continuous low dose.
An epidural anaesthetic can be used for most people, usually giving a safe and effective form of pain relief both during and after an operation or procedure.