If a woman gets a lower back tattoo, will it prevent her from being able to receive an epidural?
My friend and I are getting tattoos on our 18th birthday and the one that she wants to get starts in the lower back region and continues up her spine. However, we have heard from several sources that some doctors will not administer an epidural if a woman has a lower back tattoo. Other sources say this is just a rumor. Has anybody that has a lower back tattoo ever been in this situation? Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you!
This is interesting because the BME suggests it's just an urban legend, however, some anaesthesiologists will err on the side of caution.
One woman about to give birth to her third child decided to make it easy on herself and have an epidural, was refused one because she had a lumbar tattoo.
Your best bet is to ask your anaesthesiologist, but from what I can glean from the information available is that there is nothing definitive.
I'm the body art editor for a women's web portal and got asked this question enough that I went and asked a doctor who is a friend of mine. Here's what he said.
If your tattoo is fully healed, there's no reason that you can't have an epidural. If for some reason the tattoo was still in the healing stages, meaning scabbed, a lumbar puncture could bring some of that material into the injection site and that has the potential to be bad. However, you should not be getting any new tattoos while pregnant (you don't want to run the risk of any blood infections or allergic reactions to the fetus), so this situation should never really be an issue.
The doctor I asked also said that doctors who say you can't get an epidural because of a lower back tattoo are answering based on their own ignorance of tattooing.
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