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Wrapping of the Legs Reduces the Decrease in Blood Pressure Following Spinal Anesthesia: A Study in Men Undergoing Urologic Procedures
  1. John Pollard, M.D. and
  2. John Brock-Utne, M.D.
  1. Departments of Anesthesiology, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Palo Alto, California, and Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, California
  1. Reprint requests: John Pollard, M.D., Department of Anesthesiology, Stanford University Medical Center H3580, Stanford, CA 94305-5115.


Background and Objectives. Hypotension after induction of spinal anesthesia remains a common and a potentially serious complication despite acute expansion of intravascular volume. The current study evaluated the role of leg wrapping as an adjunct to acute volume expansion.

Methods. Twenty-four men undergoing elective urologic procedures were randomly assigned to two groups. Patients in the experimental group had their legs wrapped tightly while those in the control group had their legs wrapped loosely with elastic bandages immediately following spinal anesthesia. Significant hypotension was defined as a decrease in mean arterial pressure to less than 65 mm Hg.

Results. Systolic blood pressure was significantly lower (P < .05) in the control group at 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12.5, and 15 minutes following spinal injection. Diastolic blood pressure was significantly lower (P < .05) in control subjects at 7, 8, 10, and 15 minutes following the block. None of the patients in either group became hypotensive following removal of the elasticized bandages.

Conclusions. Tightly wrapping the legs with elastic bandages immediately after placing spinal anesthesia in mature men is a safe and efficient adjunct in preventing hypotension.

  • hypotension
  • spinal anesthesia
  • leg wrapping

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  • Presented in part at the 1994 Annual Meeting of the International Anesthesia Research Society, Orlando, Florida, March 5-9.

    Not supported by grant money or other direct financial aid.

    Study was conducted at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Palo Alto, California.