Lower back tattoos and epidurals

Problems can arise from tattoos in this area:

Krzysztof Kuczkowski, chief of obstetric anesthesia at the University of California San Diego Medical Center, published an account in 2004 of a 34-year-old patient with tattoos covering her mid-lumbar area who received an epidural. Afterward she experienced unusual burning, tenderness and swelling where the epidural catheter had been placed. Dr. Kuczkowski believes the tattoo was the culprit. “It’s possible there’s a release of small particles that could contain metals or toxic compounds,” he says.

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