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Unread 05-15-2002, 02:05 PM
Anesthesia choices

Hi KSYardbird!
I'm so glad you found a doctor you're comfortable with. It makes SUCH a difference.

About anesthesia. I had a TAH (it was supposed to be a SAH, but my fibroid was distorting my cervix so much that it had to go too), and had an epidural with sedation. It worked great all through the surgery (about 1 1/2 hours worth), and when I woke up I had no nausea or vomitting at all. As your doctor probably told you, they usually keep it in for 24 hours, so you usually have very good pain control for that time. After that, you'll probably be able to go on oral pain meds, which keep your pain control at a pretty constant level.

I had an UNUSUAL stituation where the epidural wasn't as effective on one side AFTER the surgery (maybe it slipped out of place), so in post-op I started having more pain on my right side. However, I was alert enough to tell them, and they gave me some other pain meds (Toradol in my I.V. and then morphine in the butt) which took care of it. They then switched me over to a PCA pump that evening (which you would probably get anyway if you had a general). So, even though the epidural didn't work for me very well post-op, I really did great and made a very fast recovery, maybe because I didn't have to get rid of all that general anesthesia stuff from my system, AND I was able to walk little in the hallway that first evening.

But a good friend of mine went with an epidural AND general, and also did fine, but she did vomit once afterward. I mainly elected not to go with the general because I wanted to keep some measure of control over my body (not much, but at least the breathing), and since I sing a lot, I didn't want to risk damage to my vocal cords from being intubated (even though that is very rare.) I also wanted to be able to tell them right away if I was having pain, and not wait until I was out of the anesthesia enough to do so. So, I think your choice of epidural and sedation is a good one, but know that if it doesn't work well for you, there are other things they can do. Pain control has come a long way in the last few years.

Good luck to you. The waiting is the hardest. You'll be glad to have it all behind you and on your way to HAVING YOUR LIFE BACK. I know I am! Please let us know how it went.

Lots of s
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Unread 05-15-2002, 02:32 PM


Thanks so much for filling me on the anesthesia. I feel pretty comfy with my decision, though dear hubster thinks I should just be 'conked' out! I've had major surgery before & I don't care for the 'waking up' part of general. I have a really hard time of it -so was pleased to hear there were other options for me this time.

My date has been changed from the 7th to the 12th so I'm a little bummed about that - but overall I feel pretty comfortable with the surgeon & the surgery - just want to get on with it!

My date will come soon enough.


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