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"Twilight" Epidural... Give it to me straight....

caitycccaityc Posts: 268
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I know everyone is different, which is why I ask.... When you were under twilight, could you feel anything? Did it hurt? Did they give you an IV?

I'm not too nervous, but curious about everyones experiences. Anything you could share would be great!




  • I think you will always have an IV line started when being given an anesthetic such as this, in case of "emergency" if for no other reason. Every time I have had an ESI, I have had an IV line. I've always felt that putting in the IV line hurt more than the procedure itself.

    I've had mixed reactions with "twilight." I think it just depends on how deeply they sedate you. Sometimes when I had an ESI, I was pretty unaware of anything. Another time, I could definitely feel pressure when the medicine was being injected...when I asked about it, the doctor said he needed me to be more alert for this particular treatment.

    When I had "twilight" for a colonoscopy I was "awake" but didn't feel a thing. I felt detached from my body and the process -- like I was watching, but it wasn't really happening to me.

    So I think it really depends on what they are doing to you and how deeply sedated you need to be....

    What are you having done?
  • an epidural done at L5 S1. Specifically my L5 nerve. Hopefully it'll be enough that I don't feel anything. :S

    Thank you for your reply!

  • Caity,

    I can't comment on the twilight anesthesia. When I had my ESIs done, the doctor used a simple local anesthetic. All I felt was a slight pin prick from the needle.

    After that, the ESI itself was not a big deal (I had 4 injections in different locations each time). At most, there was a slight feeling of pressure when dye or the steroid solution was injected. Most of the time, I couldn't feel anything. However, I have a sensitive area in my lower right back, and had a slight bit of pain/discomfort in that area.

    In general, ESIs do not seem like a big deal.
  • You will be fine, I had 3 epi's and a radio frequency done under twilitte and I didnt feel a thing. I actually asked the Dr "when does it start" and he said its over already.
  • I had a caudal injection which is when they go in the bottom of the spine and shoot the meds up to the nerve instead of through the back at the level causing pain kinda in the crack region for lack of a better word anyway I remember being on the table then bam recovery never felt a thing .you'll be fine good luck.
  • When performed by a competent, experienced physician ESIs do NOT hurt. Pressure yes, hurt no. I have had them and was never sedated. It wasn't even offered as an option. I know why now. No problems at all. I just wish they had worked. It was a last attempt to help. Now I am anticipating a two level L3-5 fusion on April 6th. I hope the ESI helps you.
  • I have had many epidurals and radio frequencies done under twilight...never felt anything. You should be fine! Good luck and hope it helps!
  • You all have made me feel so much better. :D #:S I just hope I am as lucky as most of you and I don't feel anything. :SS I also hope I am not too sore afterwards. That is what I dread the most. I do have pills though to help me if that is the case. I)

    Thanks again!

    >:D< >:D<

  • This is NOT something you will be told by your doctor, but if at all possible, it is important to go home, stretch out on your comfy spot and stay put as much as possible for the first 24 hours. You will be told that you can go about your business if you feel up to it. But, if you want to give the injection the very best chance of working, stay off your feet for at least the first 24 hours, 48 is even better, if you can manage it.

    The reason for this is so the medicine does not get dissipated quickly. When you have an ESI, the injection does not go into a self-contained area. Almost always, it is injected into soft tissue. When you are up on your feet and moving, your body naturally pumps more blood. Since there is nothing to contain the medicine, with blood actively circulating through your body, the medicine will move away from the intended area faster. If your body is at rest, the medicine will not travel away as quickly. This is a really basic explanation...I hope you understand what I am trying to say.

    When are you having the injection? Try not to worry. I bet you'll sail through the experience.
  • at 2:30 is my epidural.. :SS I just got the appointment today due to a cancellation. It was going to be March 3rd.

    What you are saying totally makes sense. It will be no problem to stay put. :) And to be honest, I am anticipating laying still due to the discomfort I am probably going to feel. :S

    Thank you again! I'm confident I will make it through just fine. ;)

  • I had no I.V. for the ESI's.
    Local anesthetic was used.
    I did get a metallic "taste" in my mouth when the medicine was injected and a burning feeling at the site of nerve irritation.

    Good luck tomorrow and let us know how it goes. Best wishes. :)))
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • I am sure it will go fine..the hardest part for me when I had late afternoon times..was no coffee! My doctor does tell you to take it easy for 24 hours..Good luck.
  • Like dbullwinkle says I too sometimes missed the coffee and cookies after going so late in the day. I hope if you get more injections they don't make you wait so long for treatment. I had 4 injections each time and had no twilight meds. I took a BTP med one hour before the ESIs only because I didn't go to sleep during them. I try to relax and pretend I'm on the beach while he's giving shots. Distraction imagery helped me relax. I'd try anything to get relief. The pressure I felt was worth the results I had a few days after. Good luck tomorrow Caity. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • It wasn't too bad, but it wasn't good either. The medicine they gave me to relax me didn't really work. I got sleepy after the procedure, not during. When he was injecting me with the local numbing stuff it really hurt. I actually started to cry. :''(

    Luckily though, I did not feel it when he injected the steroid. I would totally do it again, despite everything.

    I am really tired now, I) , so I am off to sleep. Thank you everyone for your support.

    I am now hoping once the local wears off that I don't hurt too bad. :SS


  • I had a cervical ESI done yesterday. Today I had back pain from he!! It's gone this evening but I sure didn't want to get out of bed this morning. So this was on the side that wasn't numbed. Maybe next time I should ask him to numb both sides just so I can enjoy the relief from the pain in my arm without dealing with a backache. :) I'm glad you found it to be not as bad as you thought. You sounded like me. I really wanted that IV and happy drug but I got neither and it was over in less than 5 minutes. Oh and the fact that my doctor was so drop dead handsome made it really easy for me to lay there and be still. :D
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