Types of Anesthesia Used in Cesarean Births

Being pregnant with a child can be the happiest, yet scariest experience for a woman to go through, and fright can be increased if the woman has pulmonary arterial hypertension. Doctors with pregnant patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension have to be especially careful when considering which anesthesia to use for a cesarean delivery. There is currently no criteria when selecting the anesthesia method for this particular population, which has led to research being conducted to determine the safest method. 

Local anesthesia is a one- time injection of medicine that numbs an area of the body. For this specific anesthetic, the patient is awake and aware, but will not feel any pain due to the numbing of a certain part of the body.  For a cesarean delivery, the local anesthetic is used to numb the patient from the waist down, so they will not feel pain, but are still alert while the procedure is taking place. 

General anesthesia is an anesthetic that puts you in an unconscious state before a medical procedure. This results in patients not feeling any pain, by the brain not responding to pain signals. When receiving this anesthesia, the anesthesiologist monitors the patient’s vital functions and they also manage your breathing. 

Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a disease that can result in right ventricular failure if there is a sustained increase of pulmonary vascular resistance and pulmonary artery pressure. Pregnant women with this disease most likely will deliver their child by cesarean delivery. There is new information that has found that local anesthesia is superior over general anesthesia when it comes to pregnant patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension being put under anesthesia for a cesarean delivery. This information is helpful to many to be able to put these women in the best position possible to have a safe and successful delivery.