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General Anaesthetic

(85 Posts)
mrsblakey Wed 22-Jan-14 18:35:57

Am having surgery in a few weeks.
I haven't had a GA since I was young & can't really remember much about the procedure.
I am feeling more apprehensive about that rather than the surgery itself!
I have been told I won't be able to meet the anaesthetist until the day of my surgery so am bottling up more nerves.
I think my main fear is not waking up afterwards - I feel really silly admitting that!
Anyone had a similar anxiety?

ChestyNut Wed 29-Jan-14 06:57:24

Thankyou pursuit thanks

Does scholine allergy have a hereditary component?

princessalbert Wed 29-Jan-14 10:35:46

I had a GA 6 weeks ago.

As it was going to be quite a quick procedure - I believe that I had just a short acting anaesthetic.

I remember my arm hurting - feeling heavy - as the drugs went in. very strange.

When I woke up I was totally wide awake and perky. I was looking forward to a bit of snoozing, but it wasn't to be. I couldn't even sleep that night when I got home.

So, it just shows that there must be more types of anaesthesia than I thought.

duchesse Wed 29-Jan-14 10:39:00

I've had four in the last 6 years but they've all been fine- all of them about 1-1.5 hours long. I seem to react rather well to GA- I wake up feeling really perky and as though I've had a really good night's sleep. Some other women on my wards seemed to vomit a lot afterwards. So reactions can be variable I think.

InPursuitOfOblivion Wed 29-Jan-14 17:41:54

Right then, anaesthetics and emotional responses.
I've tried to keep this as brief and simple as I can;

The drugs used during anaesthesia do have the ability to alter mood and change perception at the time of use. With the use of opiates, for example, this can be advantageous because it often promotes feelings of euphoria and relaxation.
Occasionally though the opposite is true and the patient can feel anxious, confused or tearful.
Currently, as far as I am aware, there is no credible evidence that there are any lasting (longer than 72 hours) psychological side effects due to anaesthesia.

But . . .

Many people do report feeling or behaving differently after surgery. (If you google this there are a hundreds of pages of people sharing experiences)
The accepted explanation for this is that it is unresolved psychological factors that are responsible.
Surgery is a deeply disconcerting experience. For a start, you wouldn't be there if there wasn't something very wrong. Illness and especially pain are enough to trigger low moods and anxiety. If you've been waiting a long time for the op there is a chance for the anxiety to build. Conversely the news that you require surgery might come very suddenly and be overwhelming.
You then have to put your trust in a group of strangers that are virtually speaking another language to you (medical jargon) you have limited control, often little information and the surgery itself can feel undignified and violating.
Our response to this? ''Oh don't worry, you'll be fine!"
It's no wonder that patients become emotional after surgery!
I'm not a mental health professional, so it's not my place to comment really, but I personally think some patients do go on to suffer post traumatic stress disorder.

I'd be really interested to hear a MHPs opinion/experiences of this.

SusanC5 Wed 29-Jan-14 19:31:47

You are right InPursuit, I felt violated after my surgery. I woke up after my accident, in hospital, naked under a gown and with a catheter in place.

Obviously, at some point, someone had removed my clothes and inserted the catheter. I was incredibly upset that the student (male) doctor, who thanked me for allowing him to observe my operation (without my consent) had probably seen me naked and may have seen the catheter being inserted. I struggled with the idea that total strangers would have washed my perineum.

I know I should be grateful that the HCP put me back together, but I still burn with the humiliation that there are people out there who touched me in the most intimate way, without my knowledge or consent.

AHardDaysWrite Wed 29-Jan-14 19:55:51

I feel for you, Susan. I've had two lots of gynae surgery and it's bad enough knowing that people I've never met put my legs in stirrups, saw my genitals etc whilst I was asleep when I'd consented to it - it must've been awful to experience that without being prepared for it.

scaryg Wed 29-Jan-14 19:56:04

Hi, what a useful thread, I'm going for a pre-op appointment tomorrow in preparation for oral surgery next month. When I was referred I mentioned I was still breastfeeding my DD (only at night, she's 25months). It was suggested I could choose between IV or GA? what is considered best in this situation?

duchesse Wed 29-Jan-14 20:06:59

Scary, I expressed for tiny DD3 in NICU after GA #2 and was still breastfeeding her for my third surgery. The anaesthetist both times said that once you are awake it's proof that the drug they use has left your body and the amounts that end up in the milk for a short procedure are negligible.

AnneEyhtMeyer Wed 29-Jan-14 20:12:16

I've had 4 GA. Each time I've been scared of not waking up / dying. Each time when I've woken it has been as though it was a moment since I went under, still worrying about what I was worrying about before I went under and then realising I was out the other side.

The worst bits are the feeling of the coldness creeping over you and the waking up with an oxygen mask on your face. So not much really, and nowhere near as scary as you think it going to be.

digerd Wed 29-Jan-14 20:48:17

I have had may over many decades. The most recent was in 2006.
I was given a bed in the hospital and eventually I was wheeled into the operating theatre, given the drug in the back of my hand -canular- and then I woke up seemingly within seconds.
Only once did I have a sore throat afterwards.

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