Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Anesthesia: for Cesarean section

Contributor(s): Marieke de Vries, Sheilah Robertson, Polly Taylor, Claire Waters

Introduction

  • Most major body systems undergo changes during pregnancy, which may have a significant impact on anesthetic management. The anesthetic technique chosen should ideally provide optimal maternal and fetal conditions to ensure optimal oxygen delivery with minimal neurological and cardiorespiratory depression of both the queen and kittens.
  • Aims:
    • Safety of the queen should be first priority.
    • Good levels of arterial oxygen tension and optimal placental blood flow.
    • Good abdominal relaxation during surgery.
    • Production of viable, well-oxygenated neonates with minimal respiratory depresssion.
    • Rapid recovery from anesthesia, including good analgesia, to minimize disruption in the ability of the queen to care for the new-borns.
  • The most important factors to consider when deciding upon the anesthetic protocol are:
    • The health status of the queen.
    • The viability of the kittens.
    • Emergency vs 'elective' procedure.
    • Provision of analgesia to the queen.
    • Familiarity with the anesthetic technique.
    • Available drugs.
  • Epidural anesthesia Anesthesia: epidural alone is not a viable alternative to general anesthesia General anesthesia: overview, as heavy sedation is necessary to ensure a compliant patient. This may have more detrimental effects on the fetus(es) than a well administered general anesthetic. However, lumbar epidural analgesia/anesthesia providing both analgesia and relaxation of abdominal skeletal musculature may enable an absolute minimum of inhalational maintenance agent to be used, thus reducing the inevitable cardiovascular and respiratory system depression produced by the general anesthetic agent to a minimum.

Physiology of pregnancy

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Pre-anesthetic considerations

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Fluid therapy

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Analgesia

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Recovery

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from VetMed Resource and PubMed.
  • Brodbelt D (2009) Perioperative mortality in small animal anaesthesia. The Veterinary Journal 182, 152-16 1PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Clarke KW and Trim CM (2014) Anaesthesia for Obstetrics. In: Veterinary Anaesthesia, 11th ed., Ed. Clarke KW, Trim CM and Hall LW. Saunders Elsevier Oxford, UK. Chapter 19, pp 594-596. 
  • Dugdale A (2010) Pregnancy and Caesarean Sections. In: Veterinary Anaesthesia, Principles to Practice.1st ed., Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. Chapter 39, pp 318-321.
  • Meyer RE (2007) Caesarean Section. In: BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Anaesthesia and Analgesia. 2nd ed., Eds: Seymour C and Duke - Novakovski T. British Small Animal Veterinary Association, Gloucester, UK. Chapter 24, pp 265 273.


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