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Epidural Experiences? Epidural Experiences?

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Unread 04-16-2002, 10:39 AM
Epidural Experiences?


I'm rather surprised at my MD's response to this as well. She's been so "progressive" and supportive with everything, up until this issue. "Negotiating" with her had occured to me--start with ep/spinal and if she's not satisfied, then revert to general anes. I already know I can't tolerate morphine in the PCP, so MD has suggested demerol or just oral meds, which I have tolerated very well.

Thanks for the info about Zofran.

If I understand correctly, epidural and spinal combo means that drug in injected both inside (spinal) and outside (epidural) the sac to achieve the benefits of both procedures. Is recovery time any different then?

When seeing the anesthesiologist, I'm taking my med. records from past two surgeries--terrible gen. anes. experiences. Hopefully s/he will decide general is not indicated and discuss with/persuade my MD that a regional anes. would be better.

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Unread 04-16-2002, 12:50 PM
Epidural Experiences?

I went to my pre-op this morning. I am having general but chose an epidural for pain relief over the Morphine pump. I will still be asleep but will not have to have as much med because of the epidural. The benefits are that you don't have to wait until you are in pain to get meds and you will have an easier 24hrs. The doctor told me today that I should have greater comfort with the epidural (have had 2 for childbirth) and that will make me a little more relaxed. I hate that feeling in recovery that you get when you wake up and are drugged. I will be asleep but not quite as deep.

7 days left!!!!
Unread 04-16-2002, 09:42 PM
Epidural Experiences?

I'd like to know -- what's the difference between a spinal and an epidural?

I had general with my hyst on 3/11. Big mistake. I'd had general before with no problems, so I don't know why things went wrong this time. I wound up with ulcers on my vocal chords, constant coughing, and a ruptured incision.

If I ever had to have another surgery, I want to know more than I did this time. And now, for the first time, I'm afraid of general.

Beatrix -- what happened to you with general?

Ladies -- fill me in on spinal/epidural -- would I be awake or aware during the surgery? Would I have pain? Would I be able to move after the surgery?
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Unread 04-17-2002, 04:36 AM
Epidural Experiences?

Lin, I'm glad your doctor gave you that option! I had general with an anti-nausea piggy back as I have always gotten sick on the table. Not this time!

The way I understand a spinal is that you are awake but your body is numb. It's that way for an epi too? I remember reading some threads a few weeks back about getting an epi instead of a PCA pump. I had a morphine PCA pump.

Rain2fall, you can do a search for spinal and epidural and I'm sure you will find thread after thread about the differences!

Unread 04-17-2002, 06:17 AM
Epidural Experiences?

I had my preop yesterday so these facts are fresh in my mind. A spinal would take the place of the general that they give you during surgery. An epidural is for pain control and would take the place of your med pump. I had these choices yesterday so I had them give me the scoop. I was told that when you have an epidural for pain they don't have to put you as deep under with the general making the after effects a little less severe.

Hope that helped.
Unread 04-17-2002, 06:30 AM
Epidural Experiences?

I have had both before for surgery and it was very nice. I too have problems with being put out and there is something they give you or do to make you come out of it better, I had that with a surgery on my hand when the block wouldn't work. I did come out much easier when I explained how much of a hard time I have coming to.

Unread 04-17-2002, 10:20 AM
Difference between epidural and spinal

Dear Rain2fall--
With an epidural, the drug is injected in the area around/outside the sac surrounding the spinal cord. Very effective but slightly slower to take effect and lower risk of headache. Spinal is when drug is injected directly into the sac surrounding the spinal cord. Takes effect immediately, sometimes stronger anesthesia is achieved. May have slightly higher risk of headache. Both numb or "freeze" the extrmeties below the point of application. You do not lose consciousness. Sedation to varing degrees can be combinded (mild--just relaxed, moderate--very groggy, to sedation where you're asleep.). Obviously all of the side effects of general anesthesia are eliminated.

My reaction to general included the usual nausa and vomiting but anti-nause meds did not work for me! (I remember the poor nurse standing over me with a loaded syringe looking at her watch saying,"Just one more minute and I can give you another injection. Maybe this one will work...") I came out of anestetic initially after surgery but they couldn't keep me conscious (not just groggy or the "mind fog" most describe.) after releasing me from recovery room. With my lap. it was supposed to be "maybe an overnight stay" and I ended up hospitized five days because of reaction to general anes.

Medicine has certainly improved and plenty of women have had not problems with general anes. I'm so relieved for them! Now I just need to find something that's work for me....

Unread 04-17-2002, 04:30 PM
Epidural Experiences?

Thanks ladies for the information. If I ever have to have surgery again, I think I'll try the spinal with heavy sedation.
Unread 04-24-2002, 12:43 PM
Epidural Experiences?

Hi ladies - just a followup to this post since I started it! Had my surgery on Friday, and the epidural was great!!!! Definitely the way to go. Minimal pain, minimal nausea (just a little queasy) I was sedated for the surgery and don't remember a thing, but woke up right away in recovery and was totally aware for the rest of the day. No grogginess. My roommate had general and was miserable - groggy and extremely nauseated. I am now 5 days after surgery and have had no back problems or headaches from the epidural.

I highly recommend it if your doctor and condition allow it. If anyone has any specific questions, I'll be glad to talk to you.

Unread 04-24-2002, 01:48 PM
Epidural Experiences?

Hi Lin,

I had my pre-op yesterday for my upcoming TAH/RSO (no date as yet). When I asked my doctor about post-op pain control, she said that I have a choice about using the PCA or an epidural. I am seriously considering the epidural. I have had numerous surgeries before and I just hate that after surgery-anesthesia feeling. Just knowing that I have a choice and that I don't have to experience the intense post-op pain is enough to ease my fears. It sounds like you had a really good experience with the epidural. What kind of surgery did you have?

Best of luck with your recovery.

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