Epidural Blood Patch
In case a lumbar puncture is performed on a patient to collect cerebrospinal fluid, or for spinal chemotherapy medication or anesthetics, the Epidural Blood Patch (“EBP”) surgical technique is used to close or fill it. The holes caused by the puncture are closed with the help of autologous blood. There are certain risks, though not dangerous, involved in the lumbar puncture that can lead to extreme headache and back pain due to the epidural space being filled with spinal fluids. However, as mentioned, this condition is not dangerous and can be treated with the help of an EBP. It is simply injecting a patient's own blood into the epidural space that coagulates and arrests any leak of the CSF.
The EBP procedure can be performed within minutes. At Dunes Pain Specialists, we take extra care of your comfort, and therefore, our physician will give you a local anesthetic to relax you. However, if you still feel uneasy the physician can administer sedatives for performing the procedure. In this method, the patient has to lie on the abdomen while the physician disinfects the injection site for taking 20-25 cc of blood. The epidural injection is then administered into the affected areas with the blood getting injected in the specific epidural locations. The needle is withdrawn and the patient is taken to the recovery room.
Usually, patients are rested for about 30 minutes to an hour for monitoring purposes. The patient then is guided to stand and take a small walk under the supervision of the physician. You might feel tightness and minor back pain due to the blood getting clotted in the epidural space. A majority of people feel instant relief after the EBP procedure which gets better continuously as the hour's pass. The Dunes Pain physician will guide you to relax for the day and avoid exertion – you can perform activities like bathing but not demanding physical work. Some patients might take an extra day or so to recover completely. Only in some cases where there is a large impact on the spine, a second EBP procedure is required in the lumbar puncture.
However, one should not go for this procedure if he or she is on medication that thins the blood. Our physician will give you proper guidance in this regard.
Like any invasive procedure, patients can experience side-effects like a temporary increase in pain due to the injection, nerve damage, infection, or allergic reaction. We at Dunes Pain Specialists are capable and committed to deal with such situations.