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Anesthesia options Anesthesia options

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Unread 05-29-2002, 12:30 PM
Anesthesia options

Can someone explain to me the different options for anesthesia and which one you feel is best and why? I am a little nervous about all this, but I think my nervousness is boiling down to which anesthesia to choose, or even if I have a choice! If I have a choice, which would be the best choice? You ladies are all great and up until I found this board 2 weeks ago, I was a wreck. Reading everyones stories is really helping me. I'm not a whimp with pain, so recovery doesn't bother me. I've always felt that fear is caused by the unknown and knowledge is power so the more we know the better off we will be. I am trying everything I can think to get myself ready for this. I am working out a little more each day - build some strength in those arms and legs (might need them more) and taking extra vitamin C and eating right, making sure I get more rest at night. I was just wondering everyones opinions on the anesthesia. (I haven't been operated on since I was 15 - for tonsils) thanks again for all your help!
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Unread 05-29-2002, 12:53 PM
Hi Linda

Your surgeon and anesthesiologist will probably discuss the options with you. However ultimately they need to decide what to use based upon a number of different factors. But yes, it is a good idea to become educated and provide as much input and preferences as you can.
I had the general anesthesia and then the PCA pump with morphine. I asked them to put anti-nausea druges into my IV. For me it worked I never had any nausea. Some women do however.
Many woman have had the epidural with twilight meds and have been very pleased with that. I think they are able to feel more clear headed al ittle earlier on. However I have no complaints with what I had or my recovery from it.
You will get lot's of input on this. You can also use the purple search button in the upper right to read thru past threads on this topic.
Unread 05-29-2002, 02:09 PM
Anesthesia options

I was unaware that I had a choice of anesthesia until the night before my surgery! I too, am terrified of the general, losing control, all the other worries that go along with that. I had checked out a library book earlier that was called "The Patient's Guide to Anethesia" to try to understand more. i do not recall the author of the book, it was at my local library. Luckily, my "A" man is a neighbor and he explained choices in detail to me. Here is how I came up with my decision of epidural vs. general.

1. My Dr. ordered an epidural for post op pain. I would have that anyway so....what were the benefits of adding general? I was nervous about the epidural, being chatty with Dr.'s. My neighbor told me not to worry about that part that most people fall asleep. Since he and his family are still speaking to me, I guess I was not that bad.

2. I did not want to know what was going on like when I had my baby, feeling sensations down there, total awareness of situation. Epidurals are different for surgery. For pregnancy, you need to be more aware and alert and have less drugs on the the baby's sake.

3. I could have epidural, twilight sedation. He said he could not promise that I would not hear anything, some people do, but if for any reason a problem popped up and Dr. needed me in general, he could do it in 2 minutes or less.

SO....I chose epidural with light sedation. I told the Dr. if for any reason that were medically necessary to go ahead with general to do it. I remember getting on the OR table and that is it. No other memory until recovery room. At that point, no pain because the epidural was there and working. I felt alert but there are some things I do not recall on the day of surgery.

My Dr. gave direct instructions about what to do for example with epidural sometimes 1 leg is numb and pain is on other side of the body, etc. I complained of this happening and my DH said "Don't you remember him telling you when that happened to put more weight on the side that is not numb"? I have no recollection of that conversation. DH was surprised because said I appeared very aware of instructions and carried on a conversation well.

I am pleased with my choice. It is a personal choice and some Dr.'s don't offer the choice.

Best wishes with your surgery.
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Unread 05-29-2002, 09:49 PM
Anesthesia options

I think for some of us, choosing the anesthesia gives us the feeling we have control over this whole thing. Even though most hysterectomies are technically elective, if it's a quality of life issue, then there's not much choice about whether or not you want to have it. And of course, for others, the hysterectomy is medically necessary, so there's no choice at all. Maybe it's just me, but that's how I felt, which is probably why I chose a spinal. It's not like I was directing the surgery, but I had the option of knowing what was happening. They gave me a "happy shot" - I think it was versed. I was able to hear what was going on, but the happy shot made me totally indifferent, and since I was so tired, I slept through most of the surgery. I woke up from time to time, but went back to sleep without any trouble. There was something very comforting about hearing my doctor say that the uterus was coming out "beautifully". I had very little pain after the surgery, and never needed anything more than ibuprofin. I'd definitely do a spinal again.

Good luck with your decision!

Unread 05-30-2002, 05:54 AM
a options

My doc said I can talk to the A person about this and did not have a preference for one or the other. I am hoping to do the epidoral. May be because I know what an epi is like but I have never had general.
So glad you ladys posted your experiance with it.
Unread 05-30-2002, 06:17 AM
Anesthesia options

Hi Linda

I'm so glad that this site is helping you! It is remarkable the support, advice, opinions and s that flow so freely here!

About the anesthesia - the type of surgery and your DR's preferences also help determine whether you have much of a choice. Some ladies have said their DR's wouldn't consider a spinal with a TAH. I had a TAH and when I went for my pre op apt at the hosp they said I had to have a general. Every DR and every surgery is different though.

I had a morphine pump for about 24 hours after surgery.

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