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Information on Choosing Anesthesia

Early in your pregnancy you should discuss options for pain management and anesthesia with your obstetrician. Anesthesiologists are on call and available for all births, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Many patients who deliver at Virginia Hospital Center choose an epidural block, a type of anesthesia that numbs the nerves to the lower body to decrease or even eliminate the pain of contractions. The process is virtually painless, and the epidural will take effect within 10 minutes. Epidurals can be used for vaginal or cesarean deliveries when appropriate. In the case of a cesarean delivery, you may receive a higher dosage of epidural anesthetic, but you will be able to stay awake and have your support person remain with you during delivery.

For cesarean deliveries, when an epidural anesthesia is not the best choice your physician might decide on general anesthesia, which is administered intravenously. Under general anesthesia you will remain asleep throughout the procedure. A breathing tube inserted during the procedure will be removed before you awake.

No matter the type of anesthesia, our highly trained physicians and nurses will provide the safe and superior service you expect from Virginia Hospital Center.

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