You are here:

Anesthesiology/Epidural side effects following baby delivery


Dear  Dr. Russell,  I was scheduled for a c-section.  The first anesthesiologist  tried 4times to get  me numb with no results. At that point I asked to take a break. I asked for someone else and the second anesthesiologist also failed to get me numb. During this entire  process I was stabbed 8 times and at times I felt pain shooting down the right three times and then down the middle twice.  Three times they said they got it and lay me flat to begin the c-section.  Unfortunately, I never went numb.  My ob/gyn who was in the room didn't say a word .  I seriously began to doubt my team and I finally said this baby needs to be delivered another way because I can't take anymore attempts on my spine.  My baby was delivered under general anesthesia.  I awoke to excruciating pain. The next 4days in the hospital were absolutely awful due to pain, nausea and had the worst headache (not spinal headache though).  I was discharged and told to take 400mg Motrin and alternate with Tylenol. That night I had excruciating back pain specifically at the site of the epidural and to its immediate right (worse than what I had experienced in the hospital) and called my doctor's emergency line.   My ob/gyn office increased my Motrin to 800mg and alternate with tyneol with codeine. I am still on that 2 months later.  I am unable to take care of my babies without help. I can not breast feed because I can't sit. I cannot stand for long periods of time.   Does my experience sound normal to you? Do you think there was some negligence? Do you think I will ever recover-if yes then how long will it take?

your experience is certainly not normal.  HOwever, proving and claiming negligence is a uphill battle.  Part of the problem, is that we live in a healthcare scenario where patients do not pick their anesthesiologists, they pick their ob's or surgeons who then use whoever is convenient for them for the anesthesia portion.  I suspect that with time your pain will improve, but it could take some time (i.e. 6 months to 1 year possibly).  I would consider seeing a specialist in pain however, in the mean time to determine motrin is the best choice for long term pain.  Any pain that lasts greater than 2 months is considered chronic pain and is best managed by a specialist in pain medicine.

I am sorry to hear about your experience.

Dr Russell


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Rex Russell


Any question dealing with general anesthesia issues. With particular emphasis on regional anesthesia.


I am a board certified anesthesiologist, graduated from residency in 2004 from Johns Hopkins Hospital. I have since worked as an anesthesiologist first in the Air Force for three years and then most recently in Texas in Private Practice.

Texas Medical Association Texas society of Anesthesiologists American Society of Anesthesiologists

BS, BYU MD, U of Texas, Galveston Intern-St. Joe's Hospital, Phx, AZ Internal Medicine Residency-Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD

©2017 All rights reserved.