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Epidural or General? Epidural or General?

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Unread 03-22-2006, 12:38 AM
Epidural or General?

I'm new at this message thing but have visited the site often and would like to take the opportunity to say "thank you" to everyone who has taken the time to share their experiences and advice on this site. I have found it very helpful and comforting and I'm quite amazed at how many women have hysters! When my friends and family found out I was having one too, the responce was "Oh, you'll feel soooo much better". They were all really excited for me!

I'm turning 40 real soon so will be celebrating by being 'liberated' or getting 'fixed' as someone so delicately put it!!
(I'm sad too because I left being a mother too late and nature has decided things for me.... )

My op is scheduled for March 27th (removing 3x size uterus/fibroids & cervix with bleeding polyp - ovaries stay)and very foolishly I turned down two other surgery dates last month ( dumb, dumb, dumb!). I was out of town on business, but close enough that I could have and should have, dropped everything and come straight home. Now I'm exhausted and had to endure one last excrutiating period (serves me right!). So ladies, don't, don't, don't decline a surgery date for the sake of a work commitment.

Anyway, my gyno and the pre-op nurse asked what anesthetic I was considering. Truthfully, I don't really know which one to choose. Both were suggesting the epidural as the best option, however I have visions of me laying there wide awake listening to the surgeon and nurses oohing and ahhing at my dysfunctional uterus and discussing their love lives or what they're having for supper etc, etc (anyone watch Grays Anatomy on Sunday nights!). I'm also a little squeemish and don't really want to see/hear/feel anything. So that means perhaps I should consider the general, right?

But what's the epidural feel like? Did you have a positive experience? Did it hurt?

This scaredy cat would love to hear from you!
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Unread 03-22-2006, 01:02 AM
Epidural or General?

I didnt even think an epidural was an option. I am scheduled for surgery of April 10. I hope they knock me out. The only experience I had with an epidural is in child birth. I had one with my 2nd child. I was numb from my abdomin to my toes. I felt nothing. I didnt feel any pain but I did feel the pressure of the birth and everything else. I do not know what you would feel or not feel if you were to chose that option.
I agree with you though. I would not want to be awake listening to the docs talk. I love Greys Anatomy and I would not want to be awake listening to half of their conversations and watching their flirtations....lol...
Best of luck to you. I hope there is someone here that can help you out with this. Is your surgery abdominal or vaginal?

Unread 03-22-2006, 07:30 AM
Epidural or General?

I was asked by the anethetist (sp) the morning of the op if I wanted an epidural instead. I told him that if he could guarantee that I would not hear, feel or see anything then ok. He said I would be sleepy/dopey and that I may hear or feel pressure. I said "KNOCK ME OUT" That was the best choice for me. I didn''t want to know what was going on in the OR. Just put me under and get on with it. Just my
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Unread 03-22-2006, 07:40 AM
Epidural or General?

I had an epidural for my surgery. With the epidural, they gave me something else to relax me during the surgery. Although there were moments of awareness for me, I certainly didn't hear any conversations. Generals tend to make me sick to my stomache.

Because I had the epidural, they were able to manage my pain the whole time. My epidural was left in for over 24 hours, so I didn't have that time in recovery where everyone was scrambling to get me some relief. So in my case, the epidural was the best way to go.

Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of each of these and other options. You really need to do what is best for you.
Unread 03-22-2006, 09:09 AM
Epidural or General?

i had a spinal for my surgery because general made me very sick.i know i made the right choice!lt took 3 minutes from start to numbness,then i was put in a light sleep.To me it felt like having a mosquito bite my back,it really wasn't that bad!i woke up once for a few seconds during the surgery and drifted off to sleep again.i had no nausea what so ever when i woke up.My lower half stayed frozen for most of that day.When i thawed out they gave me morphine a few times and the next morning i was given tylenol 3's.i was quite happy with my decision.l hope that helps you,good luck on the 27th!
Unread 03-22-2006, 09:14 AM
Epidural or General?

I simply can't get behind the idea that I may "wake up" during surgery. That just makes chills go down my spine. I have a need to be OBLIVIOUS. I get sick with general, but I can't do the epidural, so I will deal with the nausea with nausea patch, and whatever they need to put in my IV.
Unread 03-22-2006, 09:25 AM
Epidural or General?

My daughter and I were discussing this very question last night, as her husband's brother & partner just went into labor

For me, epidural sounds great if you are having a positive experience, like the birth of your child, although I didn't have one with either of mine. I have a high pain threshold and used nothing (which is why I know I need this surgery..I can't take this pain anymore).

If someone's going to put a knife to me, then I want to be totally out of it!

Btw, the doctors have a completely different style of conversation if the patient is awake compared to the patient being under GA
Unread 03-22-2006, 09:28 AM
Epidural or General?


This would probably be a personal choice. I wasn't told of the epidural simply because from the beginning, I told him to knock me out! I am a Grey's anatomy watcher as well, and would not want to run the chance of hearing any talk/conversation during the operating room... Ya know like "oops", "What is that?", "We've got a bleeder", or "We're losing her"... so an epidural wasn't even on my list of considerations. I do hear that you don't know what is going on really.

I have been knocked out a couple other times before, and never had any nausea with anesthesia. Have you had problems with nausea from anesthesia before? If so, then maybe an epidural is better for you?

Just my 2 Cents
Unread 03-22-2006, 09:31 AM
Epidural or General?

My doc said that with the epidural I would feel tugging and that it would actually be harder to recover because they couldn't get me up and walking around as soon afterwards. She told me that the sooner you get up and move around, the less gas you would have and the better you would feel.
I was a little worried about the general, but it was all fine. I got the IV and the anesthesiologist said it went in fine, then i was waking up in recovery. My surgery only took an hour, so i wasn't under long. I think that helps with recovery too.
If you get nauseous easliy, have them give you a patch for nausea. I think the anesthesia they use these days is better than it was many years ago. I didn't have any nausea after the surgery.
Unread 03-22-2006, 10:34 AM
Epidural or General?

I had a spinal. Dr told me that waking up from the general can make you have nausea and because I smoke that I might start coughing. Also, I was told that when you wake up from the general you feel the pain but with the spinal, it lasts for hours longer.

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