Labor analgesia for the parturient with lumbar tattoos: what does an obstetrician need to know?

Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2006 Aug;274(5):310-2. doi: 10.1007/s00404-006-0130-6. Epub 2006 Feb 21.


Tattoos-ancient forms of permanent body ornamentation (body art) have today become popular fashion accessories worldwide. More than 50% of all tattoos are being done on women. In the recent years body tattooing in unconventional sites (e.g. lumbar and/or sacral area, lower abdomen, breast, and buttocks) has gained increasing popularity among young women (including in pregnancy). Although, the potential hazards of regional anesthesia in patients with lumbar tattoos remain controversial it may seem prudent to avoid a hollow needle insertion (possible tissue entrapment in its bore as the needle passes to the deeper structures) through a tattoo for neuraxial blocks. This author is not aware of any other review articles in English literature discussing implications, and complications of labor analgesia in parturients presenting with lumbar tattoos.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesia, Epidural*
  • Analgesia, Obstetrical*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Labor Pain / therapy
  • Lumbosacral Region*
  • Parturition
  • Physicians
  • Pregnancy
  • Tattooing*