Relieving Pain. Restoring Hope.

Epidural Blood Patch

About the treatment

An epidural blood patch is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat hold in dura matter of the spinal cord causing headaches. This issue can be caused by many different medical indications including after a patient has received a lumbar puncture, diagnostic spinal tap, or therapeutic spinal injection. The blood patch is performed by using autologous blood to close holes in the dura mater of the spinal cord. Headaches as a result of a lumbar puncture are typically harmless and are successfully treated with this procedure.

Patients are offered intravenous sedation to use if particularly anxious or experiencing more severe pain. The patient will be taken to a procedure suite and placed on an operating table. The skin near the injection site is sanitized and marked to ensure proper placement. 20-25cc of blood is then extracted from the patient to be used for the blood patch. The physician then places an epidural needle into the affected area and injects the blood to fill the holes. Immediately after the injection, the needle is withdrawn and the patient is sent to a separate room to recover.

After the treatment

Patients are monitored in our recovery suite by skilled nurses and our providers until cleared to be sent home. Prior to leaving the clinic, most patients experience significant pain relief that continues to improve over the course of several hours. Normal activity levels may resume after a few days, as long as a Desert Pain Specialists physician has provided their approval.

This procedure carries very few risks as it uses the patient’s own blood. Some possible side effects include increased pain from the injection, infection, bleeding, nerve damage, or no relief from their headache. A second epidural blood patch may be necessary for patients with a significant amount of holes in their dura material.


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