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General Anesthetic -vs-spinal General Anesthetic -vs-spinal

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Unread 01-16-2002, 10:54 AM
General Anesthetic -vs-spinal

I was curious about the pros and cons of each type of anesthetic. I just took for granted we were talking about a general anesthetic but reading through posts I see many who went the route of a spinal or epidural. If you don't mind would those who are princesses care to share their reasons for choosing the way they went. Also, would you recommend it to others?? I want to discuss this with my doctor but I am finding that talking to those who have been there and done that is a tremondous thing! Thanks in advance for all information!!!
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Unread 01-16-2002, 12:04 PM
General Anesthetic -vs-spinal

Hi! I had a TAH/BSO on Nov. 26 with a spinal. My GYN wanted me to have an epidural because of the superior pain control capabilities afterwards, but the anesthesiologist didn't even offer it to me... either general or spinal from him. My GYN gave her ok to the spinal after he said he would use something called "Duramorph" in it, which kept the pain down for 24 hours afterwards. It really did, too! I chose the spinal because I have had surgery before and got sick from the general, and also because I don't like the "feel" of coming out of general anesthesia. I did have a sedative, so I slept through surgery anyway. The last thing I remember before surgery is the anesthesiologist telling me to curl my spine and telling a nurse to come stand in front of me in case I fell asleep (I was sitting up for the needle). I must have fallen asleep then and there because I don't even remember the needle going in! The next thing I knew, my GYN was coming in to the recovery room to tell me what had happened in the OR.

For me, it was worth it. I had NO pain the entire time I was in the hospital... after the duramorph wore off, the nurses were great at keeping up on the painkillers. Now, at seven weeks post op, I feel great!
Unread 01-16-2002, 12:10 PM
spinal anesthesia with sedation

Hi, Ldjon5,

I had a TVH/BSO under spinal anesthesia with sedation. I've had other surgeries in the past under general anesthesia, and always had problems with headaches, nausea, and vomiting afterwards.

The anesthesiologist recommended the spinal to me. First, he injected "something to help me relax" into my IV, in the preop area. Next, I woke up in the recovery room.

I don't remember the spinal catheter being placed, I remember nothing about the surgery, and I don't remember having the spinal catheter removed, either. When I woke up, my legs were numb from the knees down, but I quickly regained sensation in my legs, and I was ready to walk when I arrived on the floor. No headache, no nausea, no vomiting, no sore throat.

Some ladies choose to be aware of what's going on during their surgery, and this is an option with a spinal. I DID NOT want to be aware, and I wasn't.

I know that the medical profession has made great improvements with all types of anesthesia in the last few years, and some women have reported no problems with general anesthesia, so your chances of choosing a problem-free anesthesia for yourself are better now than they were years ago.

If you're having a LAVH, my understanding is that general anesthesia is your only option.

Yes, I'd choose spinal anesthesia with sedation again, in a heartbeat. For me, this was the easiest surgical experience ever.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes,
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Unread 01-16-2002, 12:14 PM
General Anesthetic -vs-spinal

I had general anesthesia. This is YOURS & YOUR DOCTOR'S choice, but my reasons for doing so:
1. Had a spinal with first c-section. Had to lay flat for 8 hours following.
2. Had spinal headaches for several days after spinal because the hole didn't close properly.
3. Had an epidural with 2nd c-section. I had "hot spots" where I still had feeling.
4. Working in Labor & Delivery, I've taken care of many patients who've had epidurals & still had pain in areas. Gravity causes it to settle, so the patient may be numb in her back, but still have abdominal pain. However, while having surgery, more medication is used and this is less likely to happen.
5. I've had general with other surgeries and did fine. It was quick and easy except for nausea following. But I was given something to help with nausea. (Can still experience nausea with the other two types of anesthesia.)
6. I didn't like the numb feeling in my legs and how it felt as they were "waking up" with the spinal or epidural.

Of course, not all the things I experienced with spinal/epidural happen to everyone. Like I said, this is just my reason for not wanting them. With the epidural, it can stay in your back longer & be given pain meds through there, but I was fine with my PCA through my IV.
Unread 01-16-2002, 12:41 PM
General Anesthetic -vs-spinal

HI Linda,
My surgery was January 3. I had an epidural for anesthesia and it was left for pain control after surgery. I chose this option because I had some nausea and "fogginess" after a previous surgery that I had a general with. I also did not want to be intubated during surgery( placement of a breathing tube). I did have enough sedation though, to sleep during surgery. The epidural did fairly well for pain control after, but it also caused my left leg to be numb until it was removed. I was given meds for any breakthrough pain that I had (of course these caused me to be nauseated). Talk to your MD and the anesthesiologist for what is best for you. Good Luck

Unread 01-16-2002, 01:43 PM
Epidural and general

Just thought I would share my experience.

I had an epidural put in just prior to surgery. The epidural was used for after surgery pain relief. The dr suggested this as I have asthma and sleep apnea and he did not want to use morphine.

I had a general anaesthetic for the op.

After op I had no pain whatsoever and the nurses topped up the epidural as I needed it. I had a numb left leg until the epidural came out on day 2, but that was a small price to pay for being painfree. By the time the epidural was removed, the pain was totally controlable with paracetamol. I had no nausea or vomiting after surgery.

The whole op and post op were such a positive experience for me. I have had an unreal recovery and at 5 weeks post I feel great. I am still taking it easy, but life is gradually returning to normal.

Regards and best wishes for your upcoming surgery.
Unread 01-16-2002, 04:38 PM
General Anesthetic -vs-spinal

Spinal! Loved it. I don't mind general too much, but the most recent time I had general anesthesia it involved quite a lot of retching afterward. Blecch. Did I mention I loved the spinal?

My experience differed from PDawn's... I asked about the possibility of spinal headaches, and the lying on your back thing, and apparently they are now using a new kind of needle (with a wierd-shaped tip?) that vastly reduces the chance of headaches (still possible though...), and you don't have to lie flat afterward.

Click the "www" button below to read my whole spinal "hystory". Holler if you have any questions.
Unread 01-16-2002, 05:48 PM
General Anesthetic -vs-spinal

Hi Linda!! I too had an epidural and being someone who had never had surgery before, I wasnt sure that was the best thing to do, but my doc highly recommended it so I went with his suggestion since I have such faith in him. I am very glad I did. It was nothing like I expected. It wasnt painful and took about 3 minutes to take effect. By that time I was in the OR. You can either be in la la land, as in being aware but not really wide awake, or be totally put out. I felt it when he started doing the actual surgery and he told I would experience a tugging feeling. The anest. asked me if I was alright or if I wanted to be knocked out. I opted to be in the "zone". When I woke up I was in recovery. It didnt take too long for it to wear off. I had no headache, nausea or sick feeling. I had been with my husband during stomach surgery and he had general anesthesia. He was so nauseated and had gas lodged in his shoulder for days. I didnt want to have to go through anything like that, so I am glad I went with my docs advise. I dont know if having gas is because of general anest. or not, but I didnt have gas at all which I had heard so many ladies talk about. If I ever have to have surgery again, I want to go the same route.
I hope you will make the right decision for you. Good luck!!
Unread 01-16-2002, 06:28 PM
General Anesthetic -vs-spinal

Thanks everyone for the replies. How wonderful to have sucha great source of information.

I plan to seriously discuss this with my to get his feelings and opinions. I have had multiple past surgeries with lots of complications including nausea, vomiting, dizziness and low blood pressure so if I can get the ok I may go the route of the spinal or epidural.

Thanks Again!!!
Unread 01-17-2002, 05:51 AM
I didn't go with theepidural.

On the morning of the surgery, my doctor and anesthes. had a disagreement about what would be best. My bowel was encased in scar tissue and was attached to the uterus. It needed some work. Although they say that the epidural seems to manage the pain effectively, it also has a tendency to delay the proper functioning of the bowel. There was some concern that my bowel would be somewhat lazy due to the work being done to it and the epidural would worsen this problem. They left the decision up to me which caused some stress on the morning of the surgery for me. I opted to not have the epidural. Oh well, at least it would be one less needle. I was fine. They still put me on the morphine pump following surgery and the pain was minimal. My bowel was indeed lazy and I had to stay an extra day in the hospital. It is the most uncomfortable feeling to eat and not have anything come out. In fact it is misery and a common problem on these boards. The epidural could have worsened this problem so I think I made the right decision. :jumping:

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