How long does a blood patch take 

Sometimes a spinal puncture procedure may lead to the leaking of cerebrospinal fluid. Apart from headaches, there are many long-term side effects of CSF leak. It is necessary to overcome this problem.

An epidural blood patch is a solution for this complication. In this article, we will discuss what is epidural blood patch, how long does a blood patch take, its procedure, and medical treatment for a blood patch.

What is epidural blood patch                                                         

An epidural blood patch is an outpatient treatment for the leakage of CSF. In this procedure, first, a small amount of blood is taken from a patient’s body. Then again it is injected back into the epidural space of the patient.The blood forms a clot in the epidural space which seals the area and prevents CSF leakage.

How an epidural blood patch procedure takes place

  • The doctor will withdraw a small amount of blood from the patient’s body. The blood quantity will be around 15 to 20 ML.
  • The CSF leak or lumbar puncture is confirmed by analyzing the CT scan MRI
  • A medical professional will administer local anesthesia.
  • Then a needle will be inserted into your epidural space to close the CSF leak. During the needle insertion, you should not move and stay still.

What to Expect From Your Epidural Blood Patch             

After the doctor will inject blood into your epidural space you will feel slight pressure or tingling pain in your back. The reason for this pressure is that blood is filling up the space.

Mostly after 30 minutes of the procedure, the patient is asked to stand up and walk. At the time you will feel relief from the headache and body pain. The blood will start clotting in the epidural space, it will seal the CSF fluid, and you will find yourself recovering from severe headaches.

How long does a blood patch take                                     

If you are thinking that how long does a blood patch take then take a breath of relief because the procedure consumes less time. The withdrawal and injection of blood take around 30 to 45 minutes.

However, the whole procedure from talking to your doctor, signing the consent forms, check-up, body positioning, and the after-procedure recovery time requires 1.5 to 2 hours.

Medical treatment for blood patch           

If you will have pain or swelling around the injection area. You can ask the doctor for some ointment and analgesics. Medicines will provide relief from pain and a speedy recovery.

How can you care for yourself at home?

You should at least have complete bed rest for 24 hours after the blood patch procedure. You should only get up or move for having food and to use the restroom.You should avoid high physical activities for 2 to 3 days after the procedure as it can dislodge the blood patch.       

  • Lifting more than 8-10 pounds weight
  • Heavily coughing
  • Any physical workout
  • Quick and sudden movements
  • Sneezing

If you feel pain or swelling under the injection site, do the icing. You can continue your normal diet after the procedure but drink lots of liquid to keep yourself hydrated.


You don’t need to stress out about how long does a blood patch take. Usually, the procedure takes 30 to 45 minutes. However, complications increase the procedure timing which is very rare. Epidural blood patches have been successful in 95% of the patients.                                                                        

Emma Aaron

Having completed my Bachelor’s degree in medicine and currently pursuing a house job at a well-reputed hospital in California, I decided to utilize my spare time in sharing knowledge with others through my blog. Apart from my time spent in the medical field, I love to read fiction novels and go on long drives.

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