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Can anyone tell me about their epidural experiences? Can anyone tell me about their epidural experiences?

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Unread 07-18-2005, 09:02 PM
Can anyone tell me about their epidural experiences?

My LAVH is next Tuesday and I am hoping to talk to the Anesthesiologist about doing a spinal/epidural combination instead of a GA. I have had a GA in the past and got Malignant Hypothermia and I coded (heart stopped and I stopped breathing)

My doctor is probably going to do a BSO and also take out the appendix.

I have never had an epidural or spinal block before but I have had several spinal taps. After my last spinal tap my back was very sore and it was painful for several weeks - I had a back muscle spasm during the tap and they hit a nerve. After they take the epidural out, is the site painful?

Can anyone tell me about their experiences with hysterectomies and spinal/epidural blocks? Has anyone here had an LAVH and a spinal?


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Unread 07-18-2005, 11:17 PM
Can anyone tell me about their epidural experiences?

I had a TAH, so I had both an epidural and general. For me it was great. They put it in before surgery and left it in for two and a half days. It didn't hurt when they put it in or took it out. I have had no back pain from it. It made my hospital stay a lot better. I didn't wake up from surgery in pain and was able to rest, except for loud roommates. I have never had surgery before this, but I would really recommend it. I guess it is standard procedure for my doctor.
Unread 07-19-2005, 06:30 AM
Can anyone tell me about their epidural experiences?

epidural is going to be way different than a spinal tap, as they are putting IN stuff instead of taking out. Both of my children were born with epidurals, I was slightly sore at the site, but I think that was mostly from the pressure they have to use to get it into place. In the book "The Essential guide to Hysterectomy" the doc stated they do not general give a epidural for a LAVH because an epidural usually does not numb high enough on the abdomen for the camera insicion. It will depend on your doc and the A-doc. With your surg being a week from today, I would suggest going ahead and talking with the A-doc and your doc now. HTH Angela
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Unread 07-19-2005, 04:37 PM
Can anyone tell me about their epidural experiences?

Thanks you two! Thats what I am worried about - that since it is a LAVH the docs will want to do a general. There is an article written by one of the Mito Experts on which anesthetics can be used, and the anesthesiologist needs to follow that article or I am not going in there! LOL

Thanks again!

Unread 07-19-2005, 05:16 PM
Can anyone tell me about their epidural experiences?

I imagine your surgon has updated the A-doc on your condition and if he doesn't already know how to handle that, which he should, he will learn what is necissary and appropriate for you. If he doesn't and something happens to you because of it, he would be facing a law suit and I guaruntee he knows that much, . I understand your concerns and so should your docs, you are doing the right thing advocating for yourself!!! Angela
Unread 07-19-2005, 05:45 PM
Had both spinal and epidural surgeries previously.

Had spinal anesthesia in 1983 for appendectomy while 3 months pregnant. Awake during procedure with oxygen per nasal cannula. Didn't have any actual pain during surgery, but was vomiting due to inflamed appendix and anesthesia used; the doctor was very rude, said "Stop moving, you're shaking my sterile surgical field about." Between heaves, I snapped back, "Well, give me something to stop the vomiting and I WILL quit moving." Also had the most horrendous spinal headache postop.

For cholecystectomy 1985, laparoscopy with removal left ovary/tube and resected right ovary/tube 2003, and open laparoscopy yesterday for umbilical hernia repair and removal right ovary and tube due to hemorrhagic cyst had general anesthesia, so those experiences aren't pertinent to you.

For removal uterus/cervix with repair bladder and bowel prolapses using pelvic sling technique vaginally had epidural anesthesia. I LOVED it. You are technically awake during the procedure but don't feel a thing, and they also give you IV sedation that makes you pretty drowsy as well. I don't remember a thing about the operation itself except slitting an eye open every now and then to mumble some sort of inane response to the anesthetist when she'd poke me awake to ask how I was doing, LOL. Didn't feel a thing postop either, as they left the epidural Fentanyl in for pain relief. They program the machine after surgery to set a certain maintainance dose for pain, and every few minutes (usually between 5-15 minutes at a time) you can press the button for an extra "bolus" pain relief dose if you need to. You don't need to worry about overdosing or anything, as the machine is programmed to be "locked" for that certain interval of minutes after you press the button and a bolus dose is delivered. (You still get the maintainance dose, but if you press the button for the bolus before your set number of minutes is up after pressing it originally, the machine just won't deliver the extra dose that soon.) The nurses should monitor you frequently for signs of too much medicine too, (slow respiratory rate etc, which I had no problems with at all in spite of asthma) and they will give you Narcan if it seems like the medication is too much for you. If you don't feel you're getting enough pain relief, the nurses will also call anesthesia to come check you and write orders so they can reprogram the machine and increase the maintainance dose or bolus dose you're getting, or shorten the time interval between boluses or whatever is needed to make you comfy. Even if the nurses don't have to call them, anesthesia comes around daily to see you and check your pain relief, and will increase/decrease your dose accordingly. The only thing I didn't like about the epidural was they kept me in bed overnight with it, wouldn't even let me sit in the chair which I wanted to do. The next day they let me up, but the nurses had to assist the first few times. They want to watch you carefully to make sure the epidural isn't making your legs numb when you walk so you don't fall. The only other side effect I noticed was some itching from the tape/Tegaderm keeping the catheter in the back in place and Benadryl cleared that right up when I mentioned it to the nurse. I had the epidural just till bowel sounds returned postop (about 2.5 days) and then they switched me to oral Ketorolac (Toradol) and extrastrength Tylenol at my request. They took the Foley out on day 4 and then I went home.

Hope this helped. Good luck!
Unread 07-19-2005, 07:29 PM
Can anyone tell me about their epidural experiences?

I am so glad you posted this. I just spoke with my Dr. this afternoon about the same thing. I didn't even relize I go do a spinal until he mentioned it. He also had me talk to a woman who just had her surgery last Thursday. She had a spinal and highly recommed it. I still need to talk to the anst. dr. on the 21st to find out more about it. All the replies to your post answered so many of my question. Bless you and good luck.


SAH 7/28/05
Unread 07-19-2005, 07:58 PM
Can anyone tell me about their epidural experiences?

Thanks SO much for the information and your post - it is greatly appreciated! I have had many line procedures (procedures to put IV lines in - PICC Lines which is a line to my heart through my arm, and centrals, which is a line to my heart through my chest) and they always give me versed and fentanyl to sedate me. It works pretty well, the only time I felt anything was when I got a dork for an IR and he wouldn't give me anything. That was horrible, but he was fired over it so it was all good in the end.

I am going to ask for the Versed if they agree to do a spinal because it makes me sleepy and I don't remember anything - which I like. Although I have been told that if they don't give me enough I talk their ears off. LOL Poor docs!

I am not worried about not getting out of bed, because I will likely go into a mito crash from the surgery and become paralyzed at least trunk down. That is normal for me in a crash and the doctors said they would be incredibly surprised if I didn't crash. Even if I can move my legs, the gyno said he won't allow me to get up. My mom will do my isemetrics on my legs that she always does when I am paralyzed so I don't get more blood clots.

It sounds like a good plan for pain relief that they had with you - so thank you for posting that, it had a lot of good information and now I know what to ask for. I am allergic to adhesive and for my central line dressing we use a cloth tape called hypafix, so I am hoping they can use something along that line for the epidural. Otherwise my skin blisters and bleeds under the dressing and I am sure the doctors don't want that mess on their hands!

Debb, I hope you can go the spinal route if that is what you want. I am glad it might be an option for you!

Thanks again, and I really appreciate it everyone! You are the best hyster sisters and I am so glad I found this site

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