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Anyone had an epidural? Anyone had an epidural?

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Unread 06-15-2006, 03:40 PM
Anyone had an epidural?

Thanks all of you who took the time to answer. You have all made me feel better about getting an epidural. It will be in addition to general anaesthesia, but my surgeon says they have changed the formula in the last few years, so I shouldn't (HA!) vomit when I come out of it.
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Unread 06-15-2006, 04:48 PM
Anyone had an epidural?

I wish this were an option for me but due to a botched epidural 15 years ago that has created scar tissue in the canal, it can't be. 10 years ago they tried to do one on me but the scar tissue was too extensive. I was that 1 in 100. I'm not going to tell you it wasn' t horrible but the pain relief I did get from it was worth the problems after. I wish I could have one still instead of iv drugs. No nausea, and instantaneous relief. Keep in mind too, 15 years ago Drs. were not at all as skilled with epidurals as they are today. I may ask then to try again anyway.

Unread 06-15-2006, 06:55 PM
Anyone had an epidural?

Sorry I gotta pipe in anytime there is an epidural discussion. I think it can be a great thing...but please please please discuss the possibility and the signs and symptoms of the dreaded spinal headache. No one told me anything about it and I ended up with one. It is not just a headache. YOu vomit, you lose you sense of balance...imagine your worst night of drinking PLUS the hangover the next day all wrappedup into one experience. spinning room, passing out, migraine headache...all of it. Unfortunately, I did not know what to look for and I had never had a child(mine happened during my c section). I thought it was a reactionto not being pregnant anymore or maybe the pain meds. Basically, I didn't know how I was supposed to feel after the c section so I took it as normal recovery. It was a nightmare. I wouldn't wish it on my MIL and that is saying ALOT. I suffered for 10 days before my hubby drug me to the ER (I can be very stubborn).
I think epis can be great things, but please please please be aware that the "headache" can happen. It is RARE but it does happen. If you can recognize it, you can get treated right there in the hospital. They take blood out of your arm and put it right back into the hole in your back. It hurts at first, but the relief of the headache is instantaneous.
Don't want to be a wet blanket, and I am certainly not saying dont get one, just please know what to look for.
Sorry, I babbled.
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Unread 06-15-2006, 07:06 PM
Anyone had an epidural?

Two probs I had with epis (had them 4 times, giving birth) one is, it always took forever for the numbing to go away. I wouldn't be able to feel my legs for up to 6hrs after surgery, and I always had a backache anywhere from a day to two weeks. Some womenm report having back pain for extended periods,and...yes..even YEARS after their epi. Personally I think they are great for childbirth b/c you are in pain and you want to try to enjoy the labor... but for surgery...I'll stick with plain ole general ansethesia. I've heard they get good pain meds too
Unread 06-16-2006, 11:03 AM
Thumbs up to Epidural/General Combo

I had both during my TAH/BSO in September, and I feel it worked extremely well. I have had 2 other surgeries with only general anethesetic. With the combo, I was much more alert...less foggy...shortly after arriving in the recovery room. Also, I had almost no post-op pain while the epidural remained in. (Surgery was on a Wed., epidural was removed Friday a.m., I went home around noon on Sat.) I believe the constant pain relief is key--there is no peaks and valleys. Also, you can use the PCI device to get a little extra when/if you need it. I had no trouble with headaches. The nurses will monitor you closely. For me, my blood pressure was on the low side while I had the epidural. I'm very glad my doctor presented the option of using the epidural in addition to the general and that I decided to go this way.
Unread 06-16-2006, 11:22 AM
Anyone had an epidural?


I had an epidural when I had a radical hyst. a few weeks ago. I wanted this because I didn't want to use morphine unless I had to. Had general anaesthetic as well - op took 5 hours so good job!!

I found it completely fine - just a bit weird when they put it in but they do freeze your back with spray first and it is no worse than the needle in your hand for a drip.

The only thing I would say is that you need to sit quite upright in bed to make sure it is numbing the correct area. At my hospital the nurse checked me hourly to see that it was working correctly and would put a little packet of ice on the tops of my legs, stomach, either side of wound and nipples(!!) to see what I could feel and where.

Hope this is helpful - good luck with the op.
Unread 06-16-2006, 04:11 PM
Anyone had an epidural?

I had an epidural for my surgery last year. A word of caution if you use the pain pump as a supplement. DON'T PUSH THE BUTTON too much if you get queasy on morphine! I didn't understand that the pump was only a supplement and pushed until I got sick. They were giving me Zofran, but it didn't help until I stopped pushing the button and they gave me phenergan. But I still would use the epidural/conscious sedation again.
Unread 06-16-2006, 04:56 PM
Anyone had an epidural?

Just wanted to clarify....I was not conscious...the epidural is piggy-backed on top of the general. Also, it is my understanding that the PCA pump will not allow you to push the button too many times. It locks you out until a specified period of time elapses.
Unread 06-16-2006, 09:15 PM
Anyone had an epidural?

Yes, it will lock you out. But I was really sensitive to the morphine. I was fairly comfortable with my epidural and I think that I would have felt a little better if I didn't just arbitrarily push that button every 15 minutes or so. But everyone is different. They gave me Versed on top of the epidural for my surgery. It causes amnesia so that you don't remember much of what went on during the surgery. I agree with Wisconsonwoman that the epidural makes this surgery go smoother and makes for great pain management.
Unread 06-16-2006, 10:36 PM
Anyone had an epidural?

Years ago I had an exploratory lap and had the awful experience of waking up in terrible pain. So, I requested an epidural along with the general anesthesia and it was wonderful! No headache, no backache, and I don't remember them putting it in. Don't remember the recovery room. I wasn't numb post-op, just pain-free. I was able to walk to the bathroom when the cath was removed.

They do tape up your ENTIRE back, however, and I had tape marks for months, but it was no big deal.

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