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Epidural Blood Patch

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What to Expect


Local anesthesia will be used at the puncture site, so you should not feel any pain during the procedure.

Description of the Procedure

In the operating room, two IVs will be inserted in your arms to delivery medications and fluids and to draw blood. You may be given a sedative to ease anxiety.
You will lie face down on the table. Your back will be washed and sanitized. An x-ray may be used to help the doctor guide a small needle to the area where spinal fluid is leaking. Contrast dye solution will be injected and more x-rays will be taken. A small amount of blood will be drawn and injected into the correct area of the spine. This should clot, or seal, the leakage.

How Long Will It Take?

About 30 minutes

How Much Will It Hurt?

You will remain awake and be asked to lie still during the procedure. Local anesthesia injected should block any pain. You may feel a slight pressure during the procedure.

Average Hospital Stay

After resting, you may be able to go home the same day.

Post-procedure Care

At the Hospital
  • You will be taken to a recovery room for a few hours.
  • You will be asked to lie flat and still.
  • You will be monitored and given IV fluids.
  • After a few hours, you will be asked to get up and move around slowly.
At Home
When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
  • Continue bed rest and gradual gentle movement for the first 24 hours.
  • For 2-3 days, avoid sudden movements, lifting, or strenuous physical activity.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. You may eat a normal diet.
  • Return to your activities as tolerated.


The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Family Doctor—American Family Physician


Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada


Krovvidi H, Hasan M. Epidural blood patch. CPD Anaesthesia. 2003;5(2):94-97.

Epidural blood patch. Newton Wellesley Hospital website. Available at: http://www.nwh.org/departments-and-services/pain/procedures/epidural-blood-patch/. Accessed June 19, 2014.

University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Epidural blood patch. University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health website. Available at: http://www.uwhealth.org/healthfacts/B%5FEXTRANET%5FHEALTH%5FINFORMATION-FlexMember-Show%5FPublic%5FHFFY%5F1105110029981.html. Accessed June 19, 2014.


Revision Information

Review Date: 05/2014
  • Update Date: 06/19/2014