Anesthesia is the desensitisation of the body, before a surgical operation. Anesthesia requires the administration of medications and it may involve the entire body (general anesthesia) or a part of it (locoregional anesthesia). In fact, locoregional anesthesia only sedates the area affected by the surgery.

Doctor Orazio Difrancesco, anesthesiologist at Humanitas, tells us about the side effects of locoregional anesthesia.

Spinal Anesthesia and Nerve Block Anaesthesia

“First of all, there are two kinds of locoregional anesthesia. Spinal anesthesia and nerve block anaesthesia. In spinal anesthesia, the local anesthetic is administered near the bone marrow, while in nerve block anaesthesia, the nerve is sedated after it has separated itself from the central nervous system and it has become a peripheral nerve or a nerve plexus”.

Rare side Effects

“In a few cases, locoregional anesthesia causes headaches after the dural injection. This side effect mainly manifests itself when the patient stands, and it depends on the technique of the anesthesia itself. This issue affects mainly young people. It may appear some day after the surgery or even a week later, and it disappears in a few days. It is not permanent and you may treat it with simple anti-inflammatories, such as paracetamol. Taking a supine position helps relieving the symptoms.

Much more rarely, while executing a spinal anesthesia in the upper area of the abdomen, such as in the cesarean section, the patient may vomit because the nerves that innervate the intestine are sedated”, Doctor Difrancesco explains.