Urgent cesarean section in a patient with a spinal cord stimulator: implications for surgery and anesthesia

Ochsner J. 2014 Spring;14(1):131-4.


Background: Spinal cord stimulation used in the treatment of chronic pain is offered to women of child-bearing age. This practice warrants special consideration on the part of the obstetricians and anesthesiologists charged with their care.

Case report: We report the instance of a parturient with a spinal cord stimulator who presented for urgent cesarean section. In spite of the patient's daunting back examination, the suitability of neuraxial anesthesia for cesarean delivery was rapidly determined by accessing images in our centerwide electronic medical record system.

Conclusion: Accepted approaches to managing labor and delivery-such as neuraxial anesthesia and analgesia-need not be denied patients with spinal cord stimulators. Whenever possible, however, the pain specialist should communicate the specific characteristics of the implanted device to the team who will manage the patient in the peripartal period.

Keywords: Anesthesia–spinal; cesarean section; pain management.

Publication types

  • Case Reports