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Author Topic: General vs. Epidural  (Read 2832 times)

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rlm869

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General vs. Epidural
« on: February 09, 2008, 07:21:25 PM »
hi gang, sorry if this question has already been posted...i could not find anything recent.

i have NEVER had surgery before or even a stay in the hospital. i am very anxious about my impending resurf (possibly thr) and really worried about the pain.

i guess my question is: how many have chosen epidural...how many have chosen general? for the generals...did you prefer being able to get out of bed the day of surgery?

any response would be great!

thank you
rebecca
rebecca
dr. john evans
3/24/08 rbhr

Elaine Y.

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Re: General vs. Epidural
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2008, 07:56:25 PM »
Hi Rebecca,

I recently had a RBHR (1/22/08). I opted for a general anesthesia. My reason was that I had a microdiscectomy in 1990 and was afraid of scar tissue. My anesthesiologist talked with me right before surgery and I was able to communicate to him about the pain issue and possible nausea with general anesthesia.

Regarding the pain, I asked the anesthesiologist to inject my incision before closing with a numbing agent or if I could have a pain pump at the incision site, which essential bathes the wound with an anesthetic numbing agent. Some anesthesiologists are totally in charge of pain issues while sometimes the surgeon is. This time it was up to my surgeon. However, because I had expressed my issue of pain with him, he said he would let the surgeon know. I woke up with the pain pump on the incision area. This was left in until the 3rd postop day. I did not have any incisional pain. I did have numbness on the inside of my thigh for probably 7 or so days. But, this numbness was a small price to pay for being pain free. I was able to get out of bed and do everything with this pain pump. I would recommend this.

Probably the biggest drawback with general anesthesia is the nausea issue. You have no history to fall back on as to your reaction to general anesthesia. However, again there is medication that combats this side effect. It is given to you through the IV before you go under and before you wake up. Also, you can have this medication given to you periodically throughout your hospital stay, also through the IV.

For me a general anesthesia would be my recommendation with a pain pump on the incision. Also, I had a PCP (patent controlled pump) that I was able to administer myself by pushing a button, also, through the IV. You administer your own pain medication on your need and it is automatically calibrated to deliver a certain amount of medication within an hour time span. If you push the button too much, it will not administer the pain medicine until the appropriate time. An alarm goes off if you press the pump too often within the hour. I believe mine was calibrated to give me a dose of Morphine every 6 minutes. I cannot remember the exact dose at this time.

Good luck with your surgery. We are all nervous about the procedure whether or not we had previous surgery. You will be most happy with the results and the quality of life you get back with this procedure.

Elaine Y.
RBHR -- Dr. Lopez -- 1/22/08

rlm869

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Re: General vs. Epidural
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2008, 08:04:05 PM »
thanks elaine! your post offers a lot of information. i appreciate it...

rebecca
rebecca
dr. john evans
3/24/08 rbhr

Pat Walter

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Re: General vs. Epidural
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2008, 08:54:54 PM »
Hi Rebecca

I had a general because Dr. De Smet wants his patients to be as relaxed as possible so they can dislocate your hip easily.  I told the anesthesist that I got nauseated easily and to be sure to give me something so I did not get sick.

Dr. De Smet does his surgeries in about 45 minutes for one hip, so you are not under very long.  I don't remember a thing until the next day.  They did give me some kind of medicine so I did not get sick.  I knew it worked because when I left the hospital and started to take on of their fizzy codene tablets, it made my stomach sick.  I was then allowed to just take Advil which worked fine.

Most doctors have a reason that they like a certain method and like to stay with it.  Other doctors seem to let patients take their choice. 

All the people I was with were up and walking the day after surgery even with the general. 

I think it just depends on your own preference or let the doctor decide. 

Here is a good article about anasthesia by Dr. Broder  http://www.surfacehippy.info/faqanesthesia.php

Pat
Webmaster/Owner of Surface Hippy
3/15/06 LBHR De Smet

Ronnie

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Re: General vs. Epidural
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2008, 09:20:11 PM »
Hi Rebecca
               I have not had
a operation before this bhr. The doctor said general and it was great . I never felt a thing. My experience was far greater then i thought. Modern med. is as close to a miracle as you are going to get.


                                   Good luck
                                              Ronnie















rlm869

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Re: General vs. Epidural
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2008, 10:26:03 PM »
thanks all! i did notice someone posted a similar item after i had already made this post. i appreciate the responses.

rebecca
rebecca
dr. john evans
3/24/08 rbhr

anniepannie

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Re: General vs. Epidural
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2008, 11:55:59 PM »
HI I had my resurfacing in Jan and was not given the choice.  My surgery took over 4 hours due to the density of my bones.  I had never had any surgery before this and was terrified of getting a general.  I woke up and had no nasea and after 2 days I was off the pain pump and on oral meds only.  I really only hurt when I turned.  Dont let people scare you my anticipation was way worse than anything oh and dont let them scare you regarding the cathiter - it didnt hurt at all!!!  Good luck, trust the doctor he will be watching you the whole time!!

xeyeofnewt

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Re: General vs. Epidural
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2008, 03:10:24 AM »
Hi Rebecca,

My doctor really didn't give me a choice.  He believed that general with a muscle relaxer was the best way to relax the body to mimize muscle damage and reduce blood loss.

Once the first dose of "courage medicine" was given in pre-op, I was out until I woke up in my room.

Post-op, I took 2 pain pills the first night, and then one each night I was in the hospital. (3 nights) On the pain scale between 0(none) and 10(ouch), I was mostly at 2 and 3. 

I haven't taken a pain pill since I came home Feb 2.

The worse thing for me was anxiety.   It was unexpected, but this was really biggest problem I encountered.   My doctor offered Valium, and I used it once or twice at the hospital and when I got home I was able to relax much better without taking anything.

Also, take note of how you sleep now and how you will sleep post-op.  I can't sleep well on my back because I might be a borderline sleep apnea person, and wasn't able to sleep on my non-surgerial side for 10 days post-op.  (MUST USE A PILLOW BETWEEN THE LEGS WHEN SLEEPING ON SIDE.) The doctor won't let me sleep on my surgical side, my favorite for snoozing, for three more weeks.

If I had the chance, I would have been checked for sleep apnea before I had surgery. 

Best wishes,
Xeyeofnewt

rlm869

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Re: General vs. Epidural
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2008, 04:17:30 AM »
Xeyeofnewt, thanks for the info. i have decided to go with general mainly because i want to be up and at 'em day of surgery. my surgeon (i guess it's the same with all) has you up later that day to get you moving. i am concerned about anxiety as i am already having it now. the biggest reason is that i am not sure if i will end up with bhr or thr. my acetabulum has been extremely damaged from lack of cartilage and lots of bone spurs on femoral head.

anyhoo, thanks much to everyone who's responded! 4 weeks to go!
rebecca
rebecca
dr. john evans
3/24/08 rbhr

hughstjust

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Re: General vs. Epidural
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2008, 08:03:17 AM »
Just had a successful resurface in September in the UK. Given the very short procedure involved I had a spinal block with sedation and really knew nothing about it. Had a small pump in recovery after the procedure giving some opiate but pain was very little at all. Most problem is sleeping on my back for 3 months!

DPALMIERI

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Re: General vs. Epidural
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2008, 04:58:06 PM »
Hi Rebecca,

I opted for the epideral because the anesthesiologist said there were less complications (who knows) plus I wouldnt get a tube down my throat.  The experience was very educational.  They gave me the happy juice, wheeled me into the operating room and administered the spinal.  They put a sheet up so I couldnt see what was going on, but I remember being awake for most of it.  I talked sports with the anesthesiologist, heard the doctor grinding and hammering away (the happy juice took any anxiety way), and I remember being wheeled into recovery where I was awake most of the time.  The epideral wore off later that day and I was out of bed the next day.  If I have a choice, I will always take the epideral.

Darren

john

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Re: General vs. Epidural
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2008, 07:29:02 PM »
Even though you have decided to do the general I thought I'd let you know that I'm 59 years old and had my hip done in December. I had an epidural along with a medication to make you goofy called Versed. It was great. I wasn't "awake" or at least I don't remember it and I didn't have any of those lung congestion issues I'd worried about afterwards. I was "up and at em" that same day as well.

marathonhippo

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Re: General vs. Epidural
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2008, 08:44:13 PM »
I was given the choice, and chose the epidural because both the surgeon and the anesthesist recommended it.  It was a good choice for me, because I was up that afternoon taking a few steps, and I had no nausea at all.  They must have put me to sleep as well, because I don't have any recollection of even getting the epidural.  The last thing I remembered was chatting with the people who were wheeling me in.  I now have to go back in on March 10th for another BHR on the other hip, and I am actually looking forward to it.  Now that I know the procedure, and what to expect, I am not nervous at all - I'm just looking forward to getting rid of this dang arthritis pain!!  By the way, it's been one month today since I had the right hip done, and I have been back to work for a week, although this is the first day I have driven in.  I still limp a bit, but I'm sure the muscles need more time to heal and learn how to walk again, but I haven't used any crutches or cane for well over a week now.  It is so nice to sit at my desk without the throbbing pain from my right hip!  Standing up is also much easier.  I'm really wishing I hadn't waited so long now.

Best of luck on your surgery, and don't be nervous!  It really is not bad.  The worst thing for me was trying to sleep in the hospital with everybody coming in all night to check things...
RBHR  2/4/2008 - LBHR 3/10/2008 Dr. Hickman

momzer2

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Re: General vs. Epidural
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2008, 04:17:21 PM »
I would opt for the general.  As stated by many, express your concerns with your anesthesiologist.  There are super people and many of them are also 'pain center' doctors.  So they know their stuff!!  As you may have guessed, I'm an RN and am very familiar with surgery.  I wouldn't have had an epidural since I don't think all the hammering, drilling, etc. would have been good for my brain!!!  I would know exactly what they were doing, and even though I'm a nurse it would have grossed me out (since it was my body!!).  Also, there are times when epidurals don't work fully.  It is kind of rare, but I have seen it happen.  Then you would have to have a general after all.  Don't fret about the general.  Pain and nausea, if it is bad, will certainly by addressed by the nursing staff.  Good luck!!

Karen

Deb

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Re: General vs. Epidural
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2008, 02:18:43 AM »
Very interesting comments from everyone.  I just discovered yesterday that some doctors do epidural and some general.  Is there a preference of one over the other if a person has DVT at the time of surgery?  I hope this is where I can continue this conversation with another question, if not, I apologize and will continue to learn the 'ropes'!  Thank you.
Deb
« Last Edit: March 07, 2008, 02:21:25 AM by Deb »
~Deb :)

 

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