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Caudal Block

What is a Caudal Block?

A caudal block is a procedure that will help lessen your child's pain after an operation.

A caudal block is performed by an anesthesiologist or CRNA after your child is asleep for the operation.

The child will be turned to his/her side and the lower back will be washed. Next, a needle will be placed under the skin near the tailbone (below the spine). After the medicine is given, the needle will be removed.

The numbing medicine will decrease the feeling of pain after the operation for up to 10 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I choose a caudal block for my child?

A caudal block provides pain relief for children who have operations below the belly button. With a caudal block, less anesthesia is usually needed during the operation, allowing for a quicker recovery and waking time. The numbness from the caudal block will decrease the pain after the surgery.

Why would the anesthesia team choose NOT to perform a caudal block?

Caudal blocks are not done if there is a deformity of the lower spine (often suggested by excessive hair or deep dimple at the low spine), if there is a neurological problem, or signs of infection in the area in which the needle needs to be inserted.

How long does the caudal block last?

The medicine usually helps the pain for six to eight hours after surgery, and sometimes up to 10 hours. You may begin acetaminophen (Tylenol) or the pain medicine your child's doctor ordered as soon as your child is able to drink.

What are the disadvantages of a caudal block?

A caudal block provides very good pain relief for most children. A small number of children are still uncomfortable after the operation. In that case, your surgeon will provide you with a prescription for pain medication to use at home. As with any medical procedure there are some risks. The anesthesiologist will answer all your questions.

Will my child be able to walk right away after the operation?

Your child will be able to move his/her legs, but they may be weak or numb. Your child's legs may feel "asleep" or "tingle." Do not let your child walk or crawl alone for the first eight to 10 hours after the operation. Watch your child near hot items, hot water and space heaters. Your child will not feel heat or cold on his/her stomach or legs until the caudal block has worn off in eight to 10 hours.

The feeling to urinate may be less while the caudal block is working. Your child should urinate by 10 hours after the operation. Give your child gelatin, water, milk, popsicles, ice pops or clear juices to stay hydrated, but please call us if he or she has not urinated within 10 hours of the operation.

Last Updated 12/2022

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