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Unread 03-31-2002, 05:57 PM

Hi Sisters. I am scheduled for TVH, A & P repair and bladder sling on 4/15. I have searched the little purple button on top (search), trying to find any information about epidural vs general anesthesia. Have any of you had your surgery with an epidural? What is your opinion?

I am weighing the pros and cons (haven't presented this latest thought to my dr - he will probably pat me on the back and laugh me right to the door). But my thinking is that there would be faster recovery (no drowsiness, nausea, vomiting., etc), on the other hand I understand they put drugs in the iv to prevent nausea, vomiting and maybe drowsiness and sleep would be a God send.

Your thoughts please - before I make a complete fool of myself to my dr and anesthesiologist.
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Unread 03-31-2002, 06:53 PM
Epidural is the way to go!

Had laparoscopy,TVH, ovaries/tubes, MMK bladder suspension(abd. incision), cystocele and rectocele repairs on 3/11/02 for
endometriosis, adenomyosis, fibroids, dysplasia and prolapsed everything.

The beauty of the epidural is that is can be left in place for a couple of days for pain control with no nausea. They still give you something to make you sleep but it is lighter than general anesthesia. They gradually reduce the amount of medicine going in and the next thing you know they can offer you a pain pill that easily handles any discomfort you have at that point. Loved it!!
Unread 03-31-2002, 08:56 PM

Hi There!

I had an epidural, and without boring you with the details, I had some difficulties with mine -- I feel certain it was because the anesthesiologist just wasn't having one of her best days that day.

Overall I was pleased to wake up refreshed after surgery, as opposed to groggy.

The epidural stayed in for pain management and I pressed a button when I needed a 'dose'. I was completely sedated during surgery, though, with general anesthesia.

I think you're very smart to do this checking around before you speak with your DR and anesthesiologist. Sounds like you are going to be well-prepared!

Best wishes and Big Hugs,
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Unread 03-31-2002, 09:10 PM

My doctor talked me into an epidural right before surgery. He said if it was someone in his family, this is what he would recommend. I could have kissed him two days later. After my surgery he gave me some medicine, before he took it out, that lasted 24 hours. I had to be repacked twice because of bleeding and I didn't feel a thing. I never took a pain pill. By the time the 24 hours were over, the only thing that hurt on me was my lower back. The nurses said that was from everything moving around getting settled in its new spot. I would recommend the epidural. Good luck!!!

LAVH 8-01, Granulation removal surgery 2-02
Unread 03-31-2002, 09:16 PM
Had both general and epidural

I had a general for the operation (TAH/LSO) and an epidural for post op pain relief. The epidural stayed in for 2 days post and was just the best. Fortunately I had no throwing up from the general. I have asthma and sleep apnea and dr did not want me having morphine after op, but wanted me to have the best pain control. If I were ever to have major surgery again, I would follow the same path.

Regards and best wishes for your upcoming op.

Unread 04-01-2002, 05:31 AM

Hi, I had my TAH on 3/12 and I went with the epidural as well. I didn't feel any pain as they put it in. They gave me something to relax and the anestheologist inserted it..didn't feel a thing. They gave me something to relax during the surgery like a very light twilight sleep and I did sleep. They woke me up at the end to say all was going great and they were stitching me up. Did I want to see my uterus? I said sure why not..and I did..very werid to see it. In recovery I was alert and felt nothing. I was totally numb from the waist down. My legs stayed numb for 24 hours and that did wig me out a bit. I kept saying "is this normal?"..and they all said yes. Because of my numbness, I didn't get up to walk until the second day once the epidural was removed. They took out the epidural catheter the next day and I went onto Toridol for pain mgment.
For me personally, I didn't want to deal with the side affects of General anesthisia..so this was the best way for me to go. The anesthologist told me I was choosing the "cadillac method" of anesthesia and they were all so excited I went with this method. Even the recovery room nurses were comenting on me having the spinal/epidural. They loved it as well.
Unread 04-01-2002, 05:57 AM

I had a TAH march 13th and I had an epidural as well as getting knocked out. The best part of it was less pain in my first 24 hours, the worst part was not being able to sit up and have anything to eat or drink. I survived and am glad that I had it. THe final decision is yours but this "sister" recommends it. :-)
Unread 04-01-2002, 04:33 PM

Wow, I want to thank all of you for your input. I happened to get a phone call this morning from a friend (who is also an internist) - I brought the subject up to her, and she asked what I was having done and said that if it were her, she would opt for the general. Says she had the epidural with her last baby and was literally in "la la land" for 3 months after, and also told me about 3 other people that I know who had one ( epidural), who have had back pain since (I mentioned this to family, and come to find out one of our daughters who lives a few states away - our non complainer - says, yes...she had it for her C-section and has suffered from back ache ever since).

I also suffer from severe migraines, and take medication daily to prevent them, but still have a constant throbbing, and the possible thought of another daily pain is not a welcome one. I am back to my dilema!!!

I still have a couple of weeks, DH has been doing alot of research on it, he suggests the general - he may be right, a little groggy, I understand there is a drug that can be administered at the same time to prevent / lessen the nausea, vs the back ache possibility (just my luck I WOULD end up with that). All of you girls are just great for your input, I really appreciate it and thank you.
Unread 04-01-2002, 04:41 PM
Your Choice

Hey Lora,

I can say for MYSELF that my choice was General. I had the choice of either. I had an epidural when I had my son with NO complications. It was a lifesaver. BUT I also suffer from migrains and if you are messing with the spinal, you have the chance of having severe headaches....... My choice was no epidural. Yes, I was groggy, (thank God!) I was glad. I had a lot of pain when I awoke, but was given the beautiful Morphine pump for this and also Toradol injections every 6 hours. I had no sick stomach. They will give you something for sick stomach, if they don't demand that they do when you awake!

Good luck!

Unread 04-01-2002, 06:13 PM
I chose an epidural and have no regrets

Dear Lora,
I am no expert other than my own personal experience. I hope this helps.
I had a TVH on 3/19/02. My pathology report came in this week and showed that I had adenomyosis and chronic inflamation. I had been having pain for many years and then started hemmoraging a couple of months ago. This was my first surgery ever and I was terrified.

I asked the anthesiologist what the pro's were with an epidural. I was told "no pain when I woke up." That was enough for me. Also, I was told that I probably wouldn't be nauseated as with a general and they would not have to put that "thing" down my throat to maintain an airway.
I opted for an epidural. I was soooo glad I did. I was still given enough drugs to put me to sleep without a general. I don't remember a thing. I woke up pain free. I could hear other women waking up in the recovery room alongside me, crying and moaning in pain as they woke up. I was so glad that I had the epidural! I also had no nausea either! I couldn't imagine dryheaving with a belly full of stitches.

The only thing that really bothered me was that when I woke up, my legs were still numb and they felt like they were still in stirrups, even though they were flat on the bed. That was a real strange sensation, but painless!

The epidural wasn't bad. They had me sit up and hold a pillow in my lap and lean over the pillow. They numbed the area first, which felt like a quick prick of the skin. When the epidural medication went in, it felt like a quick rush of cold water running through the lower left side of my back. It didn't hurt at all, just startled me for a split second.

My surgery was at 7:00 a.m. That night at 10:00 p.m. I asked to have the epidural removed as I was having an "itching" reaction and was afraid that I wouldn't sleep very well knowing that I had this in my back. (I was afraid I would jar it loose or something). That was the dumbest thing I did! Once it was removed, I then had to deal with finding the right combination of meds to ease my pain. But at least it wasn't right after surgery. The pain was gradual and tolerable.
I wished I had left the epidural in as long as they would let me, but it was too late.

I am prone to migraine headaches and woke up with one from surgery. I'm not sure if it was from the epidural or not. But a quick shot of imitrex in my fanny solved that problem right away!

I hope this helps you. I know how scared I was. I'm 38, and like I said I have never had surgery before this.

Good luck to you! For me, the anticipation was the worst!!!!


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