What is the need of epidural blood patches?
Spinal surgeries or invasive spinal procedures like a diagnostic tap, therapeutic injection or lumbar puncture, etc., may often lead to a series of complications including headaches resulting from cerebrospinal fluid leakage from small accidental openings or punctures created in the spine during such procedures. Such headaches can cause serious discomfort for several days after an invasive procedure. Conventionally, such symptoms are managed using procedures like hydration or drinking fluids containing caffeine, to increase the cerebrospinal fluid pressure which in turn will bring relief from pain. Resting for 24-48 hours may also help elevate a patient from such debilitating headaches. However, a faster and more effective way of treatment involves the use of an epidural blood patch.
What is an epidural blood patch?
The pain clinic at Dallas handles the treatment procedure involving an epidural blood patch. Here, a small volume of autologous blood (from the patient) is injected into the punctured region in the spine from where the cerebrospinal fluid was oozing out. The blood immediately clots at the mouth of the puncture, sealing the area and thus putting a check on any further leakage from the spot. This allows time for the tissue to heal itself completely and results in relief from the symptoms of a spinal headache. On rare occasions, a blood patch may fail, necessitating the need of a second epidural patch. Success with the second patch is as high as 95%.
Precision pain management for epidural blood patches
Post a blood patch procedure, the patient usually feels a slight pressure at the injection site. However, soon afterwards, the painful headache starts to gradually diminish and the body starts replenishing the lost cerebrospinal fluid. Usually, your doctor at pain clinic at Dallas will advise you to rest for a day or two after this procedure. Precision pain management to handle the slight pain resulting from an epidural blood patch includes administration of a small amount of local anesthetic to desensitize the area where the procedure will be performed. The anesthetic is given via an intravenous injection. Once the sensation in the area is numbed, further processes will bear no pain. An oral sedative may also be given to the patient before an epidural blood patch is executed. Some patients may, however, be given moderate to high level of sedation or general anesthesia depending on the patient’s preferences. However, usually an IV or oral sedation works perfectly well. Precision pain management for epidural blood patch also involves post-operative modifications in lifestyle, at least for a couple of days or more including plenty of rest for complete healing of the problem. It is usually recommended that the patient does not eat anything 6 hours before surgery and does not drive to go home after the procedure is over if any form of sedation or anesthesia is involved. Thus, epidural blood patch, a relatively modern healing technology helps to overcome painful spinal headaches with the help of effective precision pain management strategies executed by the pain management clinic at Dallas.