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epidural vs general epidural vs general

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  #1  
Unread 04-11-2002, 09:12 PM
epidural vs general

I previously saw some posting on this subject but now that I really need the information I can not find it. It was either here or on http://forums.about.com.

Any feedback and information on the best way to go (epidural or general) would be greatly appreciated.

I'm healthy and have no major health problems. My previous experience with out patient surgery was a general and I remember feeling awful when I work up.

My doc is having me do a 2 day clear liquids pre op, antibiotics and a bowel prep. Seems like their are a variety of different preps going on.

Thanks for your input on this or any other tips.

BB
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  #2  
Unread 04-11-2002, 09:24 PM
epidural vs general

Hi BB,
If I had to do this again I would do an epi. I was so out of it with the general. I was sick to my stomach and dizzy for hours after the surgery. I remember as I was trying to wake up, two other ladies in the recovery room that had epi, saying how great they felt. And I could not get my eyes to open with my head spinning and feeling sick. I also remember crying to the nurse that I should have done a epi like the other ladies, because they are so awake and feel so good. One ladies reply to me was I am so sorry that I have been bragging. So to answer your question if you can go epi. Do it.

Hugs,
Debbie
  #3  
Unread 04-11-2002, 09:26 PM
epidural vs general

BB,

If you'll click on the purple Search button at the top of this page, you can do a search on posts that mention epidurals. I had a spinal, and before my surgery I searched both epidural and spinal posts. My doctor said an epidural was not an option for my surgery, so that's why I picked the spinal. I was very happy with it, and would do it again.

Margaret
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  #4  
Unread 04-11-2002, 10:48 PM
Epi vs General

I am 7 days post-op...had an abdominal hyst, kept ovaries and cervix....debated about the epidural because I read about it on this site. My doctor didn't mention it, and for some reason, I was afraid of the epidural even though I knew I have trouble with nausea from general. Well, I was sick as a dog for hours after surgery from nausea. Even stopped pushing the pain drip button because I assumed it was fueling the nausea. Well, that wasn't smart because I woke up with EXtreme pain, wailing and crying. I don't know if I should have done the epidural...I don't know if my Dr would have allowed it. All I know is that the nausea just about did me in....even with shots in my IV to curb it. I'll never know, but if I had to do it over again, I would do more research on the epidural. Take care...
  #5  
Unread 04-11-2002, 11:06 PM
epidural and spinal (same thing)?

thanks for your quick responses. I'm a little confused; I thought a epidural and spinal was the same thing. I believe my dr. is giving me the option between a spinal or general and I will discuss it with the Anesthesiologist .
  #6  
Unread 04-12-2002, 01:02 AM
Another option

BB

Just thought I would reply with my experience. I had a general for the operation and an epidural for post op pain relief. The epidural was inserted just prior to me going into theatre. When I woke up I was quite with it and in no pain. The epidural was left in for 48 hours post. If I was ever to have major surgery again, I would definitely opt to go the same road. The reason I had both was that I have asthma and sleep apnea and the dr did not want me having morphine post op, but wanted me to have the best pain relief. The best part - no barfing. Very little nausea at all.

Regards and best wishes for your operation and recovery.

Gail
  #7  
Unread 04-12-2002, 05:47 AM
epidural vs general

I had both. Only the general didn't have to be as strong because of the epidural. When I woke up, I felt much better than previous generals without epidurals. If they aren't going to do both, then I would definitely go for the epidural. I've had two and loved them. They really help to manage the pain locally so that you can get up and walk around right away which helps you to recover faster.
  #8  
Unread 04-12-2002, 05:57 AM
epidural vs general

Hi, I just replied to another post regrding the epi vs general. But you brought up a good question..spinal vs epidural. I had the spinal AND epidural. My best "lay person" explanation is this.
The spinal anesthesia goes into a deeper part of the spinal column..the epidural catherter goes into the same "hole" but isn't put in as deep. The catherter is as thin as a human hair and you don't feel it while you are laying on your back.
I was given the spinal pre-op..they gave me something in my IV to relax me and then they numbed the back where the spinal was inserted..from there they inserted the epidural catherter. I FELT NOTHING..NO PAIN..ZERO ZIP NADA. The anestheologist will explain the entire procedure to you..as well as draw pictures to explain the depth of the insertion of the spinal and epidural..at least mine did.
My understanding is the spinal is given for the operation itself..I guess it is more "numbing" or complete numbness of all the nerves. The epidural is left in for pain relief for the initial pain relief 24-48 hours after surgery.
I too was in recovery completly awake and could hear other patients trying to get out of the General Anes. fog and I was coherent to say "thank you" for the epidural!
The downside for me was itching. Side effect of the epidural..but they gave me anti itch medication in my IV which helped. The itching only bothered me when I was in my room trying to move around. If I was still as in sleeping ..no itching at all. Also, you legs will be numb. I did keep asking the nurses "is this okay..normal?" and they reassured me YES. They reduced the dosage in my epidural and I was able to move my legs a bit more..and still felt no pain. I didn't get up to walk until day 2 once the epidural was removed and I had regained complete movement in my legs.
Next morning, the epidural was removed and I went onto Demerol..which did make me naseous. Then they gave me Toradol which is pain relief PLUS anti inflammatory and it worked wonderfully for pain.
I did a lot of research and grilled the doc and anesthelogist on the two types of anesthesia. Both recommened to me the spinal/epi. They explained it reduced the "getting sick after"..better comfort and no GA fog.
I was very thankful I opted for this method!!!
Good luck and here is to quick recovery!
  #9  
Unread 04-12-2002, 06:31 AM
epidural vs general

If I had to do it again, I would go with the epi with sedation. I had an epi with other surgery and did very well and I could kick myself for not doing it with my hyst. The reason I would go that route is because when I woke up in the recovery room I was in severe, and I mean severe pain. The morphine wasn't wokring and they couldn't give me more because my respiration was dangerously low and they had to put me on oxygen. It was absolute agony and finally, when I got to the room and DH saw me crying ang begging, he asked the floor nurses to do something. They called my doctor and got something else to help knock me out. By 3:00 am the morphine was working and I felt much, much better. Good enough to call the nurses to come and unhook all the stuff attached to me so I could get up and start walking. But that first 12 hours was horrible and I was kicking myslef because if I had gone with the epi, I wouldn't have had all those problems. I have to tell you that not everyone has this problem and the morphine works great and they don't have any pain after the surgery. I'm just one of those people that had problems with it so I would definitely go with the epi if I ever have to have surgery again.
  #10  
Unread 04-13-2002, 07:21 AM
EPI was GREAT!

I'm post-op 4/8 TAH kept ovaries, let the cervix go. I had an epidural and something to "relax" me. I tworked beautifully for the surgery - I woke up confused during the surgery - thought I was standing up and the doctors were working under me, then I saw the anesthesiologists face adn he said "Hello - would you like to go back to sleep?" I was very woosy so it didn't bother me one way or the other but I was confused so I said "yes, please". I woke up in the recovery room and felt great. My poor roommate had general and spent the next 2 days vomiting - I felt soooo bad for her. As far as pain meds go, I guess the epidural would have been a great way to go but my blood pressure went waaaay down and they had to take me off the pain meds. Yikes!!! They gave me shots of something to reduce swelling so things didn't hurt as much.
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