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asthma and anesthesia asthma and anesthesia

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Unread 03-07-2006, 02:05 PM
asthma and anesthesia

This is the first time I'm having "major" surgery and I'm worried about whether or not my asthma is going to cause any major problems with my anesthesia. I've had other surgeries but they've always been short same day things and my asthma wasn't as bad back then. They've never seemed worried about my heart murmur either but it hasn't seemed to have gotten any worse. The asthma has, especially over the last 6 months. I'm worried about the tube down my throat since I always tend to have the usual mucus that all asthmatics have. Is this something I should worry about or will it not be too much of an issue? When I mentioned it to the nurse she had no idea what would happen and since I probably won't meet the anesthesia dude until the day of surgery, I'd hate to get there and freak out. Does anyone else have asthma and what have your experiences been with surgery and stuff.
Thanks for your help.
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Unread 03-07-2006, 02:33 PM
asthma and anesthesia

I have asthma and I had a 20 or so minute breast biopsy surgery last year. I had no problem with my asthma. I was fine after that surgery. In fact it has been several years since I have even had to use my inhalers. For my hysterectomy I had an LAVH and I believe I was under for almost 2 hours. As soon as I woke up I couldn't breathe right and had an asthma attack. I did not have a good albulterol inhaler. My old one was expired, so the respiratory therapist came to my room with a new albuterol inhaler and chamber. I used it every 4 hours for a couple of days. Just make sure they (the docs, nurses and others that will be taking care of you) know about your complete medical history. I told them at my pre-op appointment about my asthma and I had to have a chest x-ray and EKG. I also told or reminded everyone the day of my surgery before they gave me my "cocktail".
Unread 03-07-2006, 03:30 PM
asthma and anesthesia

I have asthma and use "puffers" on a daily basis. I met with the Anesthesiologist (or however it is spelled) yesterday at pre-op. He told me to make sure that I take my puffer exactly one hour before surgery and that my airways will be cleared. Good luck! We have the same surgery date! Hugs.......Frenchie
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Unread 03-07-2006, 04:02 PM
asthma and anesthesia

Hi Kris,

I also have asthma, and take meds daily for it. My Anesthesiologist offered me the alternative of an epidural with twilight sleep. I went with the General Anesthesia because I was not sure about the epidural. It was a big mistake for me. I used my Combivent one hour before surgery. The Respiratory Therapist gave me an additional treatment right before they put me out. When the tube was pulled from my throat I immediately woke up with the worst asthma attack of my life. Fortunately my Dr had requested that a Respiratory Therapist be there during surgery. They put me immediately to sleep and when I woke up again I was in my room on Oxygen which I was on for 48 hours, with RT treatments every 4 hours.

When you pre-register at your hospital, or go in for pre-op testing, please ask to speak with an Anesthesiologists about your options.

If I have to have another surgery I will choose the epidural with twilight sleep. I have read many posts here from others who had it and loved it.

Unread 03-07-2006, 05:30 PM
asthma and anesthesia

A severe asthma attack is what I fear most. I hate that feeling of not being able to breathe. It makes you feel so out of control of your own body. I go for my pre-op and pre-registration on Thursday so I guess I'll just jump up and down screaming until they let me meet with the anesthesia folks. Oh wait, that may put me in an asthma attack so I better just firmly ask. LOL! I'd never thought about the whole epidural thing. Then I wouldn't be totally under. I guess trading a sore back for the lack of an asthma attack is a good trade. I'll definately have to ask to see if its an option for me or not. I sure hope it is.
Thanks for the info everyone. Its so wonderful to know that this sight is full of ladies who are going through or have gone through all the things I'm going through.
Hey Frenchie, I'll put my asthma inhaler into the air in a toast to you as I go in and say a prayer we both do okay and for no asthma attacks.

anxiously awaiting a pain free rest of my life
Unread 03-07-2006, 05:36 PM
asthma and anesthesia

I have asthma, I was under about an hour for a complicated d&C and was having a mild asthma attack prior to surgery(nerves). The anethesiologist gave me an inhaler and I used it prior and was fine. I think I used it a couple of times during my stay, but was otherwise fine. It has been my experiance that they take the asthma very seriously.

Hope your breathing freely on surgery day!
Unread 03-07-2006, 06:04 PM
asthma and anesthesia

I also have asthma, and up until 4 weeks ago, was a heavy smoker. I recall being told I had an asthma attack during one surgery, but I remember nothing about it, and woke up just fine. And I have had 9 surgeries...I have no doubt you will be just fine!!
Unread 03-07-2006, 09:01 PM
asthma and anesthesia

Thanks a bunch ladies. This websight has given me such a good feeling about everything.
I'm on 3 different meds and use a peak flow meter for my asthma right now and I was planning to bring them all with me since two of them are taken daily. I'll definately need to make sure I don't pack my Albuterol in my bag for the recovery room and have it in my hot little hand when I go in to surgery. I guess this is just one more thing to add to my list of minor paranoia for the week. LOL!
Thanks for all the information and advise ladies. I now have tons of things to discuss with both the doctor and the anesthesia folks on Thursday when I go for all my pre-op stuff.

doing the pre-hysterectomy happy dance
Unread 03-07-2006, 09:47 PM
asthma and anesthesia

They will check your lungs before surgery if they think you will not tolerate it they will reschedule you. I was having really bad wheezing and they had to reschedule my surgery for this thursday. My doctor changed my medication and told me to do my inhaler twice a day up until surgery day.
Tell them to sit you up after surgery even if your asleep. For some reason when I am elevated the mucous seems not to be so bad as when laying flat. Nebulizer treatments after surgery work better than regular inhalers because it is a fine mist like white smoke. Don't worry, everything will be fine.
Unread 03-07-2006, 10:04 PM
asthma and anesthesia

I have had a few surgeries since being diagnosed with asthma. I was directed to take my usual meds and bring my inhaler with me to the surgery. They had me take a couple of puffs pre-surgery and it is my understanding they gave me a puff in recovery (I have no recollection of this). I was put on oxygen this last surgery, which my doctor felt was overkill. I was in surgery probably 3 hrs. The tube down my throat left some irritation and a cough for about a week. I forced myself to breathe deeply while in the hospital to keep my lungs functioning well.

I have exercise/stress induced asthma. I have never had a bad attack. My main symptoms are wheezing with exertion and being unable to hold my breath for a normal amount of time. I become breathless when I sing, which is not good for a soloist. I have to use my inhaler to have enough breath to get though a normal line. Forget holding notes anymore.

I put my name and birthdate on the side of my inhaler, in indelible marker, in case it was misplaced.

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