Obstetrical Anesthesia

Our team provides anesthesia coverage of the Labor and Delivery Unit 24 hours a day, every day of the week. We are involved in the management of labor pain and high-risk pregnancies. We are also available for pre-delivery consultations.

What is an epidural?
An epidural is a type of regional anesthesia used to provide pain relief during labor. It is called an epidural because the anesthetic is given into the epidural space via a fine catheter (small tube) and can be used continuously until the mother delivers her baby.

What are the possible side effects of an epidural?
Although rare, complications or side effects, such as decreased blood pressure or headaches, can occur. Treatment options are available.

What if I need to have a C-section?

A working epidural placed earlier during labor can be used for your C-section. If you have a scheduled c-section, a spinal anesthesia is the anesthetic of choice. General anesthesia is always available if needed emergently.

What is spinal anesthetic?

A spinal is when the anesthetic agent is given in the spinal space. This provides a quick way to provide analgesia for a c-section. The advantage is the mother can be awake and at the same time pain free during the c-section delivery of the baby.

What is general anesthesia?

General anesthesia is when the patient is completely asleep and the anesthetic is given through the patient's IV or by inhalation.

Where do I get information about anesthesia for labor and delivery?

We provide monthly obstetric anesthesia classes. This class will provide expectant parents with an opportunity to speak directly to an anesthesiologist and to receive up-to-date information on obstetric anesthesia. The classes are on the first Tuesday of each month, from 7-9 PM, at the Mohler Senior Center, 660 Cherry Drive, Hershey.

Call (717) 531-6981 between 7 am and 4:30 pm to register or email Camille Verno at cverno@psu.edu or Sonia Vaida, M.D. at svaida@psu.edu.