Your surgeon or anesthesiologist may decide to use an epidural catheter and general anesthesia. This catheter, which is a very small plastic tube, is placed into your lower back just outside of your spinal cord. This catheter allows pain medication to be placed directly into this area around the nerves to provide pain relief. It has been shown in many cases to decrease the amount of general anesthesia required during the surgery. This catheter can be removed or left in place after the surgery for about 1 day to provide continuous pain relief.
Whether or not you receive this type of anesthesia depends on your particular situation and the specific type of surgery you are having.