Regional anaesthesia

Regional anaesthesia is the injecting of local anaesthetic around nerves, numbing certain areas of the body. This is done under general anaesthetic and helps your child with pain relief, both during and after the procedure.

Epidural anaesthesia

 An epidural is an injection between the spine bones (vertebrae) and a thin plastic tube (catheter) is left in the space near the spine. Local anaesthetic is given through this catheter and bathes the nerves of the spine. This leads to an area of numbness over the operation site (epidural block).

Epidurals are usually used for bigger, more painful operations and tend to stay in place for around three days. Epidurals are used very commonly in children and are safe and very effective forms of pain relief.

Caudal anaesthesia

A caudal is very similar to an epidural. The injection is at the base of the spine and a single injection of local anaesthetic is used. Catheters are not usually left in place. The caudal block usually last around six to eight hours.

Nerve block

Local anaesthetic is injected around a specific nerve(s) of the body and numbs that nerve(s). Most anaesthetists will use ultrasound or a special nerve stimulator to find the nerve.

Nerve blocks are used commonly for leg, arm and penis surgery and will give your child numbness over the operation site for six to 12 hours.

Local anaesthetic infiltration

Surgeons inject local anaesthetic into the wound at the end of the operation that numbs the skin. This numbness lasts two to four hours.

Last updated Thursday 2nd November 2023