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Spinal vs. General Anesthesia Spinal vs. General Anesthesia

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Unread 04-02-2001, 03:58 PM
Spinal vs. General Anesthesia

I am having a TAH/BSO in 1 week and I was considering having a spinal. I have so much trouble waking up from the anesthesia. I have never had a spinal before. My DH is worried, because he said he has heard that they give you back trouble later in life.

Aunt Lane
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Unread 04-02-2001, 04:16 PM
Spinal vs. General Anesthesia

Hi Lane....

I have trouble with general anst.. waking up and the nausea thing. I opted for a spinal this time. The best part about a spinal is no fog feeling in recovery. I was under an amnesia type med. to make me sleep during surgery. My anst. did put some moriphine in the spinal, so I really had no pain in recovery. Talk to your dr. I had a TVH.. not sure they will offer it with TAH. It was great!!

Hope this has helped you
TVH 3/5/01 -large fibroid/heavy bleeding
Unread 04-02-2001, 05:06 PM
Here's what I did

Hi Aunt Lane

I've had trouble with anesthesia, too, as well as with pain meds. So I made an appointment to see the anesthesiologist before my surgery and we came up with a plan. I would have an epidural without narcotics that would be continued after surgery with my non-narcotic pain pump as well as general anesthesia, using one of the newer gasses which leave your body faster than the old ones, and have less incidences of grogginess and nausea.

This is the protocol that we followed and it worked fine for surgery. I had no nausea or grogginess afterward. It would have worked fine for pain management, too, if the connection to the epidural had not kept falling apart and the medication in my pain pump hadn't run dry for two hours.

However, I have to say, I do have pain and discomfort at the site of the epidural administration (2 months post op now) and I have been told that it may never completely go away.

Under the circumstances that existed for me, I am not sorry I did what I did. If I were able to take narcotic drugs I would have gone with the general anesthesia with the newer gasses (I have had that anesthesia before for short surgeries and found it so different than the old ones, it was a breeze for me).
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Unread 04-02-2001, 08:05 PM

I had a spinal with my daughter's birth, again with my TAH/BSo & tuck..first one had backaches, but by sit ups, it healed, no more problem.
This second time..not a problem at all, and I had a spinal and general together. I think it depends on the person, how they heal, who administered the spinal, etc.
If I ever have even a twinge in my back, a sit up or two straightens it out, or a good back stretching.
Good luck with your decision!
Unread 04-02-2001, 09:46 PM

I am 2 weeks post-op today. I had a TAH/BSO and the doctor told me that a spinal would be the better way to go. I totally agree with him! He did my surgery at 7:30 am on 3-19 and then did my roommate's afterward. She had the general and vomited for that whole day and night. I was fine, although when I woke up from surgery, I demanded pain medication. And when the nurse asked me to roll over so she could remove a heart monitor, my response was: "You've got to be kidding!". So, I was in pain, but no nausea, and as soon as they gave me the medication pump, I was feeling pretty good. I have not had any unusual back pain, talk with your doctor on that. God bless!
Unread 04-04-2001, 11:47 PM
I wouldn't suggest a spinal

When I had my TAH, my roommate had one the same day too. I had a general, she had a spinal, and OH, what a difference in recovery!!

I was up the day after surgery, was able to use the bathroom, and got progressively better until I was released five days later. My only problem after surgery was my blood pressure was too low (40/60) for a few days.

My roommate, on the other hand, had a horrible time. She lost the use of her left leg because the catheter in her back that they used to administer pain meds damaged a nerve. She was absolutely miserable, and when they finally removed the catheter, the pain was worse. She got up into a chair for the first time on the day I was discharged.

The nurses in the hospital told me that THEY are the ones that know better than the doctors, because they have to take care of the women after the surgery. They said the Drs. prefer the spinals because it makes it easier on THEM, not us. They would NEVER recommend it. It has more complications than a general, and a lot more problems with permanent nerve damage.

Please, think twice about a spinal.

Unread 04-05-2001, 12:48 AM
I had an epidural....

Aunt Lane....everyone will have different experiences both good and bad with all types of anesthesia. Get as much information as you can and discuss your options with your dr and if possible speak ahead of time with the anesthesiologist about the pros/cons of general vs. spinal or epidural. My dr. did not advise a spinal because there is a limited tiime frame of numbness...usually two hours because you just get one injection, but with an epidural, the catheter is left in place during surgery and sometimes after for pain control (mine wasn't) and so the anesthesiologist can administer as much or as little medication as you need for your surgery and after; there is no time limit.

I chose an epidural with short-acting sedation because I didn't want that foggy/groggy feeling afterwards and didn't want to be throwing up with a sore bellly either. I also have trouble opening my mouth wide because of tmj problems and I just had a lap procedure done last september and had to use general anesthesia...I just need to limit possible trauma to my jaw if I can. I had a good experience with my epidural....the anesthesiologist was super nice and answered all my questions....I don't remember getting the epidural at all because of the shot they give you prior to surgery. The anesthesiologist said I dozed thru the entire surgery. I woke in recovery without any pain because he dosed me at the end of surgery so that I'd be numb for another two hours or so....enough time to get out of recovery and into my room and after that I was hooked up to the pain pump. The numbness gradually wore off starting at my feet and moving up my legs. I did have some residual numbness in my right thigh that lasted into the next morning after surgery, but it did go away by that second post op evening. I had a "sore" spot at the catheter site that lasted about five days; the fourth post op day being the worst -- my first full day at home and my back ached for a day and a night, but nothing that bad and certainly not worse than the pain I was having in my belly! I think it was a combination of being in bed for so darn long and the sore spot mentioned earlier that made my back ache like that, not just the epidural site itself. I also had an epidural while in labor with my daughter 13 years ago and never had any trouble at that time either. Explore all your options and talk to your doctor, ask questions! Good luck!
Unread 04-05-2001, 07:31 PM

Hi Aunt Lane,
I had a spinal with my TVH on Jan 26 and loved it. I was planning on having general anesthesia but when I checked in the morning of surgery the Anesthesiologist talked to be about the spinal. With my medical history (high b/p, diabetes, acid reflux) he just felt it would work better to not be under. So I told them as long as they could make me sleep during most of the surg I would go for it (I wanted to sleep because Versid and a couple of others make me Chatty Cathy, not drowsy and I knew they wouldn't want to listen to me for 2 or more hours. I felt good during surgery, in the recovery room I visited with the nurses and was up and walking the halls by 6pm that evening (had surg at 7:30am). Never had the morphine pump - there are pain medications in the spinal that block the pain for 24 hours so by the time that wore off I really didn't have horrible pain. My roommate in the hospital was 35 yrs old (13 years younger than me) and had a general (and an abdominal hyst) and she didn't get out of bed for 3 days. She was nauseated and dizzy the whole time. I had no soreness at the site of the spinal and the numbness was almost completely worn off by the time I got to my room (my surgery lasted almost 3 hours instead of 2 like my doctor thought). The Nurse Anesthetist woke me up many times during the operation to see how I was doing and we'd visit a bit (though I felt like I was drunk - felt like my speech was slurred). All in all it was a VERY positive experience and I would have a spinal again in a heartbeat. Good luck with your decision - I know it is not an easy one to make. Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

TVH w/A&P repair 1-26-01
Unread 04-05-2001, 11:00 PM
Spinal vs. General Anesthesia

Aunt Lane,

It was great meeting you in the chatroom the other night.

I had an epidural and LOVED it. No problems at all. The "gas man" gave me sedation before the epidural.

Just remember that everyone is different...we all heal at different rates.

Hope to see you in chat again!


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