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Piercing and Tattoos
Posted on: 07/18/2007
I heard that if you get your lower back tattooed, girls can not get an epidural during labor. Is that true?
No, it isn't always true. Most pregnant women who have lower back tattoos can receive epidurals. The exception would be if the tattoo covers a large area and is still "fresh" ? meaning the involved skin is still healing. Actually, very few studies have looked at the risks of epidurals in women with lower back tattoos. But there is no conclusive evidence of any adverse effects, such an increased risk of an infection.
Most anesthesiologists will give an epidural block to a pregnant woman with a lower back tattoo. However, they may try to avoid placing the needle through the tattoo to avoid a small scar that may disfigure the tattoo. If possible, the anesthesiologist will choose nontattooed skin through which to insert the needle.