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Anesthesia Associates of Southern Connecticut

Anesthesia for Caesarean Section

You may require a Caesarean Section for your baby. This may be an elective, scheduled Caesarean, or it may be an emergency, or it may be be done if labor is just not progressing after a long period. Anesthesia for Caesarean births may involve spinal or epidural or general anesthesia. Choices are dependent upon several factors including your preferences and the medical condition of you and your baby. Please click on the links above for detailed descriptions of these different types of anesthetics.

If you have an epidural catheter in place for labor and a Cesarean birth becomes necessary, the anesthesiologist can inject additional, stronger medication through the epidural catheter to numb the abdomen and legs. This creates conditions similar to a spinal anesthetic and allows surgery to be performed in an awake, comfortable patient.

For emergency surgery (if there is time) and for elective Caesarean section, spinal anesthesia is the first choice at Norwalk Hospital. This has an extremely high success rate, approaching 100% and causes profound numbness over the entire abdomen, allowing surgery in an awake, comfortable patient. It is extremely safe for the mother and the baby.

General anesthesia for Cesarean delivery is used when spinal or epidural is not possible. This could be for medical reasons, or simply because there is not time to perform the spinal or epidural. It is initiated quickly through an IV and causes a rapid loss of consciousness; thus it is usually used when an urgent Cesarean delivery is required. It is quite safe for the baby.

It is best to remember that you should not eat of drink anything after your labor pains begin regardless of your plans for delivery or pain control. Sometimes small sips of water or ice chips are permissible during your labor with your physician's consent.

It is the goal of this Anesthesiology Department to make your labor and delivery as comfortable and as safe as possible for you and your baby. Please discuss any of your anesthetic concerns with your anesthesiologist toward the end of your pregnancy.

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