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Epidural or not? Epidural or not?

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Unread 08-09-2002, 11:02 AM
Epidural or not?

Does anyone have any information regarding Epidural's?

I just had my pre-op this morning and I am feeling better about the surgery. I am a bit nervous about the Epidural and I have a few questions. The Nurse said it is easier to administer pain medication but, I have lower back problems I delieved 3 Children vaginally, without the help of an epidural, mostly because my Chriopractor said it would hurt my back more. I am sitting on the fence about this, weighing the pros and cons. I am also going to talk with the Anesthestist before the surgery.

Thank you for any information!

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Unread 08-09-2002, 11:45 AM
Epidural or not?

My anesthesiolgist decided to go both spinal and epidural. One stick only. He said the spinal would be more drug and I didn't have to have a PCA pump because I wanted the epidural for post op pain relief. I would go the same way again if I had to. With my epidural the pump had a control on it that delivered medication on it's own so I didn't have to push any buttons. I hated general as it made me very very sick and I didn't want to have side effects of a PCA pump. I wasn't sure if I could tolerate morphine as a PCA (patient pump), but morphine in an epidural/spinal doesn't have the same circulation--effects are limited to nerve-endings in lower portion of body and drug does not cross brain/blood barrier. You can read my story at the link below or find out more by searching for spinal/epidural

With general anesthesia the sleep is so heavy that it requires you to be intubated (tube in trachea) and have a respirator breathing for you during surgery. They sedate you so you don't experience the sensations when they administer the drug that paralyzes you, which is why you need the intubation. No breathing tube needed for if you don't have general because the sedation used with a regional (spinal/epidural) is different from the sedation used for general. And with a regional, the level of sedation can be varied (light--just relaxed, medium-groggy, heavy--sleep through it all).

I would definitely discuss this with your anesthesiologist. I don't know if an epidural would aggravate the back pain more. It's a very small catheder that delivers medication and it may even take back pain away. I did have some lower back pain for a few days but was told it was due to the position on the O.R. table when they did the TVH (a very high lithotomy position used with vaginal hysterectomies) If you want to know more about this position there is a very detailed (graphic) post about it but will only post if you're interested. Good luck.
Unread 08-09-2002, 01:35 PM
Epidural or not?

Hi HappyCM3,

Thank you for the information. Wow! Alot of good detail! I feel alot better after your story.

I am having a TVH, keeping the ovaries, bladder and rectal repairs. I will talk with the Anesthesiolgist. I'm am also bring in a CD player and CD's to listen to during the surgery. I have ear plugs and they're on my list for the hospital.

Thank you again! Take Care. Couters
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Unread 08-09-2002, 01:47 PM
Epidural or not?

I would also recommend to the both of you a website that was recommended in one of the postings called myoperation.com. It will give you lots of information about surgery from a medical standpoint for us lay people. I highly recommend the reading. It also talks about "A" word and the different types.

Unread 08-09-2002, 03:16 PM
Epidural or not?

pinkie, Thanks for the infor. I looked up the site. Good info and I'm getting to know what they do. It doesn't seem so scary.

Unread 08-09-2002, 05:21 PM
Epidural or not?

I had an epidural which they left in for pain medication. I felt very little pain and everyone was amazed at how alert I was. One question I was asked in pre-op was, "Have you ever had a back injury." I do have problems from an auto accident, my anesthesist warned me an epidural can reirritate back injuries. As I was being prepped my anesthesist said she just was not sure the epidural was in my best interest. I gave her permission to make the final decision. I did have some back pain. I do not know if that is due to the epidural or if it was the stretched muscles and swelly belly.

Good luck in your search,
Unread 08-10-2002, 08:12 AM
Epidural or not?

Hi Specialteach2002,

Was you back pain the same, less pain or more pain after the Epidural?

I have lived with this pain constantly but, have mangaged to do it with out drugs or OTC drugs. Last year I slipped off the bottom step and pinch a nerve on my right hip. I couldn't walk or sit. Went to the Hospital had Demerol and Percadan when I got home. I took me a good six months to get over that!
My injuries are on the left side - lower hip, SI joint and 2 disinagrating discs above the tailbone. This really hurt delivering my 3 Kids and sore afterwards. I didn't have an Epidural then, just the happy gas.

DH and I were talking about the Epidural last night and we will talk with the Doctors on surgery day.

I still like the idea of how the pain meds work with a Epidural.

Thanks again!! Couters
Unread 08-10-2002, 09:43 AM
Epidural or not?

You are welcome Couters,
It sounds like your back pain and mine are in about the same location. The anesthesist said that the the needle would be a little above that area so it would not create a problem.
My Dr recommended the Epidural. She said she had it when her children were born. The reason she recommended it was I am not aware of my pain until it is out of control. I am glad she made the recommendation

Back to your question was the back pain the same, less, or worse after the Epidural. At first it was less. I am sure that was the pain medication. My 3rd week I was allowed to go to a sister's wedding. The travel time, cramped in a car, motel beds, restraunt food, etc were hard on me and my back was pinching tight and dull achy. This pain continued to Week 6 when I was given the ok to have a chiropractic adjustment. I now feel great!!!!

I had a TAH/BSO. From what I read the body position makes it more difficult on a TVH. I hope you have an easy recovery.
Unread 08-10-2002, 10:35 AM
Epidural or not?


Thanks for the quick reply! I am now considering the Epidural. I go to the Chrio too and go for massages. I am having an 1 1/2 massage and a Chrio appt on the 14th, the day before surgery. I think I will forgo taking any long trips for awhile.

Most of my injuries came from working in group homes for developmentally handicapped children and adults. I retired 5 years ago to be a stay-at-home Mom.

Take Care & s. Couters
Unread 08-10-2002, 11:00 AM
Epidural or not?

It is a wonderful treat to have a massage and chiropractic adjustment the day prior to surgery.
What rewarding work you have done. I worked with the Jr. High special needs students. Stay-at-home moms are also so important.
Take care of yourself and praying you have a speedy recovery.

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