Patients at Good Samarian Hospital have access to top-quality anesthesia services provided by physicians who have trained at the country’s finest medical institutions. Our San Jose anesthesiologists are all board-certified and there is a qualified anesthesiologist in-house 24/7.
Our anesthesiologists provide care in the following areas:
- Labor and Delivery Unit
- Children’s Surgery Center
- Neurological interventional procedures
- Cardiovascular and weight loss surgery
Safety in anesthesiology
Above all else, our board-certified anesthesiologists’ first concern will always remain the safety of our patients. That is why they work closely with surgeons, obstetricians and other staff to identify the safest, most effective anesthesia options for each patient. Anesthesiologists are also a valuable resource regarding post-procedure pain management, treatment options for patients with chronic pain and care for critically ill patients in our intensive care units.
Having an anesthesiologist available 24/7 provides an addition level of safety during labor for both routine and high-risk births at Good Samaritan. We are proud to be recognized as one of the “best places to have a baby,” by Bay Area Parent magazine.
Our anesthesiologists may assist with patients dealing with chronic pain from:
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Incorrectly treated surgical pain
- Complex regional pain syndrome
Pain management services
The most commonly performed injection is an epidural steroid injection. Prior to the injection, the skin is anesthetized by using a small needle to numb the area in the low back (a local anesthetic).
An epidural can help decrease inflammation associated with common conditions such as spinal stenosis, disc herniation or degenerative disc disease. An epidural injection is generally successful in relieving lower back pain for approximately 50 percent of patients. The effects of an epidural injection tend to be temporary, lasting one week to a year. It can help provide pain relief for patients during an episode of severe back pain and allow them to progress in rehabilitation.
Generally, a patient is limited to three epidural injections a year. Three may not always be necessary if one or two resolve the patient’s lower back pain. Patients whose pain is a result of a tumor or infection should not receive an epidural.
- Wet tap occurs when the needle penetrates the dural sac into the cerebral spinal fluid. This may result in a CSF leak or a spinal headache.
- Infection into the epidural space is a remote risk. While there is no risk of paralysis, there is a remote risk of damage to a nerve root.
Back pain injections
For pain relief, injections can be more effective than an oral medication because they deliver medication directly to the anatomic location that is generating the pain. Typically, a steroid medication is injected to deliver a powerful anti-inflammatory solution directly to the source of pain. Depending on the type of injection, some forms of low back pain relief may be long lasting and some may be only temporary.
Injections can be used to help determine which structure in the back is generating pain.
Selective nerve root block (SNRB)
A selective nerve root block (SNRB), is primarily used to diagnose the specific source of nerve root pain and, secondarily, for therapeutic relief of low back pain and/or leg pain. When a nerve root becomes compressed and inflamed, it can produce back and/or leg pain. SNRB injections can assist in isolating the source of a patient’s pain when imaging results are not conclusive.
The injection of the steroid helps reduce inflammation around the nerve root. SNRB’s are generally limited to three times a year. The only risk involved with SNRB is temporarily worsened pain due to the injection site’s close proximity to the nerve root.