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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?

Mummywheel Wed 22-Jan-14 19:02:13

I had my very first anesthetic six weeks ago and then another four weeks later. I too was very anxious however the anesthetist both times was lovely and put me at ease. You no sooner drift off to sleep to be woken again after what seems like seconds. I'm sure you will be fine and will be wondering why you were so nervous smile x

Belize Wed 22-Jan-14 19:03:55

I agree with Mummywheel. I've had four now - terrified the first time, really learnt to relax and enjoy the last one!

The anaesthetist's often seem to be the most chilled out people on the planet in my experience smile.

mrsblakey Wed 22-Jan-14 20:11:44

Thanks guys it's good to hear your experiences.

mrsblakey Wed 22-Jan-14 20:11:52

Thanks guys it's good to hear your experiences.

Df had his first one last week aged 70! He was very nervous but was fine.said the anaesthetist was lovely.he said the worst bit was the walk to the theatre and the waiting around.
good luck OP

I had one in 2012 and was very anxious beforehand but the anaesthetist was lovely smile
She told me that it is a very common fear to not wake up afterwards - my fear was actually the opposite, I was worried about waking up during! They were very reassuring though and it was good in the end, I felt like I'd had a really lovely sleep smile

mrsblakey Thu 23-Jan-14 15:52:43

Thankyou all xx

17leftfeet Thu 23-Jan-14 16:24:04

I've had 15 generals, the last one I remember talking about trees (they asked me what I did for a living and that's the way the conversation went) and then being woken up and asked if I wanted a cup of tea which I had then went back to sleep again

Enjoy the rest grin

3bunnies Thu 23-Jan-14 16:30:45

I told my anaesthetist that it seemed like the best way with 3 young children to get some uninterrupted sleep! Was worse when ds had to go under but they have all been quite cheerful doctors.

InPursuitOfOblivion Fri 24-Jan-14 21:35:50

Hi, anaesthetic practitioner here. Happy to answer any questions you have! Even if they sound to you the most stupid question in the world, please ask! Stupid questions are the best questions and always the most important.
I would say 90% of patients have a fear of either not waking up or waking up at the wrong time, so you are not alone. 10 years in practice and I have NEVER seen that happen. I haven't heard colleagues report it happening to them either and they are veterans.
For God sakes don't listen to horror stories in mags/tabloids etc. most of these stories are pure fabrication done for financial benefit angry

specialsubject Sat 25-Jan-14 18:07:02

your journey to the hospital, or any car trips you do, are massively higher risk than the anaesthetic.

good luck and get well soon.

redspottydress Sun 26-Jan-14 20:33:50

Is it true that they automatically put in a catheter when you have a general even if they don't tell you they will?

3bunnies Sun 26-Jan-14 20:57:34

I didn't have a catheter, or if I did then they whipped it out before I woke up!

bumblebeebzz Sun 26-Jan-14 21:03:23

I had one last week, I was so nervous.

it was amazing! definitely feels like seconds between drifting off and being woken up.

good luck flowers

Samwidge Sun 26-Jan-14 21:05:23

In my experience, the anaesthetist will come and see you and talk through any concerns.

I've had many operations and one of the things I was fed up of was waking up with a v v sore throat. Discussed it with the anaesthetist and she informed me that there was no need to to end up with a sore throat and that it was down to poor practice. We had a long discussion which really educated me. Knowledge is probably the answer to you feeling calmer.

Good luck

Branleuse Sun 26-Jan-14 21:10:57

I bloody love general anaesthetic

InPursuitOfOblivion Sun 26-Jan-14 22:15:23

Redspottydress. There is no way we put in a catheter without express consent of the patient!
The only exception to this is if it were absolutely necessary and the patient were not able to consent themselves. (If they were in a coma for example)

We are very, deeply respectful to our anaesthetised patients and would not do anything to them that we would not be comfortable having done to ourselves.

Samwidge- post operative sore throat is very common, but unfortunately it is not always unavoidable. I think it may have been a little unfair for your anaesthetist to blame it solely on poor practice.

AHardDaysWrite Sun 26-Jan-14 22:19:04

I love having a GA. The lovely woozy feeling when you're coming round is great.

Inpursuit are patients under GAs always incubated?

AHardDaysWrite Sun 26-Jan-14 22:19:07


AHardDaysWrite Sun 26-Jan-14 22:19:27

Bloody phone. Intubated even!

InPursuitOfOblivion Sun 26-Jan-14 22:24:42

Yes. All patients receiving a general anaesthetic will have some form of 'airway' . The type of airway you will receive depends on the type and length of the surgery, drugs used and relevant medical history.

ChestyNut Sun 26-Jan-14 23:00:38

I love GA grin

Not so much the wheezy chest after, think that may be asthma related tho? sad

InPursuitOfOblivion Sun 26-Jan-14 23:06:57

Yes and no ChestyNut. Asthma never helps, but sometimes the anaesthetic vapours used can irritate the lungs slightly. Nothing serious, doesn't do any long term harm.

WaMy last GA asked me what sort of alcohol I liked and generally talked about that. I got to tell him didnt want to be sick and he promised me an antiemetic. Didnt like the oxygen mask but he was gentle and took his time. Woke up fine, no sickness a bit cold which they sorted with an amazing hot air blanket.

fairykissesforyou Sun 26-Jan-14 23:10:24

I had an GA recently where I was put under using a continuous pump of IV drugs and was very sick afterwards. Soon after this I had another anaesthetic (for different type of surgery) and I said I had been very sick so the anaesthetist said they would give plenty me of anti sickness drugs to help. I was also given my anaesthetic by face mask this time and had a small amount of ?propofol to relax me prior to the inhaled gases- I had no sickness and felt more clear headed afterwards.

My question is- was my sickness better because of the inhaled anaesthetic (or does everyone get this after initial induction), or was it the type of surgery that caused the sickness (was ENT), or did giving the anti emetics in theatre make it better-though I was given antiemetics in recovery after the ENT op but maybe too late. I am interested to know before I have my next GA which is coming up to try to avoid the problem again.

Reading this back I hope it makes sense-basically what is better IV or inhaled anaesthetic?

What the hell is my ipad doing to my typing? Was supposed to say with my!

georgedawes Sun 26-Jan-14 23:15:40

I too was worried about waking up,but it was over very quickly, one minute going into theatre the next waking up.

I did need a bit of oxygen for a few hours after as my sats kept dropping, due to have another op soon is that worth mentioning to the anaesthetist?

Wednesbury Sun 26-Jan-14 23:16:27

I have a question that I have wondered about ever since I had an epidural for my first CS five years or so ago.

After the birth the anaesthetist, who was lovely and totally reassured me throughout the whole procedure, said to me 'Now I need to give you an injection which might make you feel like your heart is racing' and I said 'What? What is it, what is it for?' and he did reply but I can't remember what he said.

Do you have any idea what it was and what it was for?

Also, is is true that for a c section under GA you have more anaesthetic than for some other procedures? My second CS was under GA and it took me a very long time to come round properly and be able to sit up and look around, it was 36 hours after the operation before I made it into a wheelchair to see my DD in the NICU and I have always felt terrible about this.

Thank you for answering on this thread InPursuit

SusanC5 Sun 26-Jan-14 23:25:13

The only exception to this is if it were absolutely necessary and the patient were not able to consent themselves. (If they were in a coma for example)

I was involved in a road accident. When I came round from my GA, I was horrified to find out that I had a catheter and my operation was witnessed by student doctors. I only find out because one of them thanked me for alllowing him to take part in my operation. blush

I was unable to consent as I was unconscious. I had no problems with the GA and the whole experience didn't put me off having more surgery.

Good luck OP.

1944girl Sun 26-Jan-14 23:37:20

I have had two C-sections under GA. It was 44 and 41 years ago when all c-sections were done under GA.

I don't want to comment on all the details except to say they were both crash ones and I did not see either of my children until they were two days old and still feel upset about it.

I was the most scared one when my children had to have dental extractions under ''the gas''as my dentist said. I was shaking with fear when I had to leave them in the surgery room and seeing my unsuspecting innocent child being sat on the chair then I had to stay in the recovery room.The place reeked of aneasthetic and there were two children in the recovery room being sick. The aneasthetic was given by a GP. My elder child was carried out of the room afterwards, my younger one was able to walk out.It was a big relief when all was over.

I don't know if some dental extractions are still done under general aneasthesia these days, especially in high street dental surgeries.

ChestyNut Mon 27-Jan-14 07:04:02

inpursuit looks like I may have to have sinus surgery soon. Anything that will stop the wheezey can't breathe thing before it starts?

ChestyNut Mon 27-Jan-14 07:05:25

And can I request no hurt ? sad

PseudoBadger Mon 27-Jan-14 07:14:35

1944 - there's no way that any generals are given in high street dentists any more! I had all 4 wisdom teeth out under general at the hospital. What an awful experience for you sad

LineRunner Mon 27-Jan-14 07:19:34

I had a GA last week. It really did feel like seconds, and I recovered quickly.

I had an IV and face mask. The anaesthetist was so gentle and reassuring that I felt really safe.

I was scoffing tea and toast within an hour.

shouldnthavesaid Mon 27-Jan-14 09:23:06

When I was having surgery a couple of years ago an anaesthetist came to see me in the morning, and discussed a general. I said I was worried about the intubation. He said it's the most risky part (he wasn't a reassuring chap) and did an assessment to see how likely it was to go wrong with me.

Within minutes he had a senior person through, and they both said I needed special care. They said they'd place a tube down my windpipe, and a separate one down my stomach, whilst under conscious sedation. Both said I would remember it and I would feel considerable pain. They demonstrated by pulling my oesphagus forward, which hurt like hell.

They said I'd need this for all future anaesthetics due to the alignment of my jaws and teeth.

Understandably since then the idea has terrified me and both surgeries (that one and the next) I pushed for, and got, a spinal instead. This still I frightened me but not as much - I felt more in control.

I've never heard of that since, is it a normal procedure?

Also - when they give you a spinal, do they add some sort of sedative or morphine? First time I had continual infusions of midazolam but the second time I was assured no sedatives (as midaz sent me into a psychotic type state) but I did feel very odd. Told the anaesthetist things I wouldn't normally dream of, and felt very cuddly/snuggly? I wouldn't dream of taking sedation again - I was shaved and all sorts under that stuff, and watched by half a dozen students through a view panel. Awful.

mrsblakey Mon 27-Jan-14 10:16:06

Wow seems like my thread has triggered some interesting questions.
Thanks Inoblivion for offering to answer any queries I think most of mine have been covered by everyone else!
I am still apprehensive but can now see that for most it's nothing to worry about.
Thanks again to all of you for responding I will continue to watch with interest!

mrsblakey Mon 27-Jan-14 10:18:37

Sorry should read Inpursuit!!!

behindthetimes Mon 27-Jan-14 10:28:58

I had to have a GA in order to have the 'products of conception' sad removed following a miscarriage. I was really nervous as I'd had GA as a teenager and it made me feel sick and also depressed. I mentioned this to the nurse that wheeled me down to the operating theatre and she told me to make sure I was thinking happy thoughts as the GA was happening and I would wake up in a similar state. So I thought of DS1 smile, and woke up feeling completely fine, just a bit out of it in a nice way. I felt a little sick a bit later on, but told a nurse and a well timesd sandwich sorted that out.
Hope you are reassured by the posts on here at that the surgery goes well OP.

InPursuitOfOblivion Mon 27-Jan-14 12:47:46

Hi ladies,
Kids, husband, dog and neighbours are conspiring against me having any free time today! I promise I will get round to answering your questions but you'll have to bear with me!

If anyone else from team anaesthetics is reading please feel free to jump in! I'll send one of the ODOs to fetch us coffee! brew

ChestyNut Mon 27-Jan-14 12:48:55

Never heard of that shouldnt sounds awful sad

Think anaesthetics have moved on.

What's an ODO?

ChestyNut Mon 27-Jan-14 18:05:03

Operating Department.......

Practitioner or assistant are only ones I've heard of.

PseudoBadger Mon 27-Jan-14 18:07:20

Operative? Erm... Operator? grin

redspottydress Mon 27-Jan-14 19:03:58

Thank you for answering. I asked because I was unable to pee after surgery and I was told by a friend who works in hospital it was because they give you a catheter in surgery! I was in for hours so I believed her.

redspottydress Mon 27-Jan-14 19:04:09

Thank you for answering. I asked because I was unable to pee after surgery and I was told by a friend who works in hospital it was because they give you a catheter in surgery! I was in for hours so I believed her.

1944girl Mon 27-Jan-14 20:43:14

PseudoBadger Thankyou.

Thankgoodness those days are over. I still have nightmares of both my now adult children being sat in the dentist's chair, the big aneasthetic cylinders standing beside them, then having to leave the room and put their lives into the hands of an unfamiliar GP. All the preparation that was given was to starve overnight and don't bring them if they have a cough or cold.Neither of my sons can remember it now but I certainly can.

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Mon 27-Jan-14 20:54:26

fairy - post-operative nausea and vomiting is generally worse with inhaled anaesthetics than iv anaesthetics. ENT, squint, gynae & abdominal operations also cause more nausea & vomiting. It's more common in women, non-smokers and people who suffer with travel sickness.
It's likely that the anti-emetics and different surgery reduced your post-op nausea rather than having inhaled anaesthetic.

I had the best most technicolor dream when I had gas at the dentist as a kid. I still remember it vividly. I also quite liked the wobbly bit after. Wouldn't have liked to have been my Mum though.

fairykissesforyou Mon 27-Jan-14 22:17:06

Thanks for your answer, I'll ask for plenty of anti emetics next time then!

Ooo, I have a question, someone (can't remember who, sorry blush ) said earlier that everyone who has a GA is intubated but it be in different ways. I didn't ask about that when I had a GA, but am intrigued now, as I had my wisdom teeth out, so surely that wouldn't have worked with a bog standard intubation as the tube would have got in the way of the surgery? Someone please enlighten me as to how it was done, then?! grin

Oh, also I think this came up earlier, I had a GA to have my wisdom teeth out because I am a very nervous patient with the dentist and basically couldn't be trusted to keep my mouth open and stay calm if it was done at the dentists while I was awake blush

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Tue 28-Jan-14 05:26:02

When you have a general anaesthetic you're given oxygen and often anaesthetic gases either via a mask or tube whilst you're asleep.
If its a short procedure the anaesthetist may just hold a mask over your mouth and nose. If its longer, they'll use a tube. Tubes can either go down into your trachea (windpipe) ('endotracheal tube' - this is intubation), or sit at the back of your throat ('laryngeal mask airway').
If the operation is in your mouth too, either the surgeon works around the tube, or a tube can be inserted via your nostril. Often for dental extractions, the tube is just tied to one side and the surgeon works around it.

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Tue 28-Jan-14 05:37:04

Wednesbury - the stuff that increased your heart rate was probably Syntocinon (Oxytocin), which is given after the baby is delivered at Caesarian section, to help the uterus contract and reduce bleeding.

Thanks StillNo, that's interesting to know smile

InPursuitOfOblivion Tue 28-Jan-14 17:01:07

fairykisses stillno is absolutely right, total intravenous anaesthesia (TIVA) is associated with less PONV, but there are so many variables. Agree that the best thing to do is mention it to your anaesthetist and get a load of anti emetics on board before you wake up.

georgedawes lots of patients need a bit of oxygen for a few hours post -op. Its usually nothing to be concerned about, but yes, do mention this to your anaesthetist next time. Even the smallest details can be important.

Wednesbury without looking at your notes it's hard to know exactly, but I concur with stillno that the most likely candidate is Syntocinon (a synthetic version of the naturally occurring hormone oxytocin) or possible Syntometrine which is a combination of Syntocinon and ergometrine. It is used to make the uterus contract after birth and control bleeding post delivery. Every patient who has CS will receive it.
With regards to your second question, it's quite difficult to answer. There are many ways to give an anaesthetic and everyone practices slightly differently. For a major surgery we won't give 'more' anaesthetic exactly, but because its likely to last longer your total exposure to anaesthetic drugs will be more. (I don't know if that makes any sense to you?) with major surgery we are also likely to give you a load of opiates for pain releif which can leave you feeling totally 'out of it'.
I'm sorry you didn't have a good birth experience, but please don't beat yourself up over it. There as nothing you could have done and I'm sure you are the most wonderful mother. Even years later counselling can help if you are interested. There are some therapists that specialise in medical counselling and even just one session might prove beneficial. I do think its a service that should be more widely publicised.

chestynut before your surgery make sure your asthma is really well controlled. Avoid (even more than usual) smoke, pollen, dust anything else that irritates your lungs.
Try to make sure you are as fit as you can be. If you use an inhaler, bring it to the anaesthetic room with you and take a few puffs before induction.
If no other medical conditions are present, propofol is the induction agent of choice in asthmatics. I know what you mean about it hurting though. Some people find it just a bit cold going up the arm, others find it unbearable! Mention it to your anaesthetist because there are things that can be done to make it hurt less. Finding a big juicy vein helps! Being warm and well hydrated helps to get those veins up. (Although when you are told to stop eating and drinking pre-op, it's really important that you do stop. I'm sure you know that anyway)
After consultation with your anaesthetist he may decide to use something else, but if he doesn't, remember going to sleep with propofol takes 30 seconds at the most. smile

An ODO is an operating department orderly. Think they are all called porters now, ODO is the old name for them and I'm showing my age! blush
It's a rare day that I get a break at work and if I do it's never long enough to get changed and leave theatres. So I give the porters money to buy me coffee and sandwiches from the shop. Honestly, it is the 'little guys' like the porters, cleaners and health care assistants that keep us off our knees!

Right will be back to answer more of the questions after tea.
You've asked some interesting ones grin

SamU2 Tue 28-Jan-14 17:32:04

I was petrified before having GA. I kept thinking I was going to wake up during the operation.

I was so scared the Dr gave me a sedative and then I told him that he was Dr Dreamy and I had the urge to kiss him hmm

He then told me he was putting an antibiotic in my arm and I was about to tell him I knew he was lying then I was gone.

The only thing I didn't like, which I was warned about, is the fact that I went to sleep then woke up for a few seconds and knew they were wheeling me somewhere they I went back under.

I don't know how common that is? but they did warn me that it might happen, I have yet to hear it happen to anyone else though.

Interesting answers, you seem very knowledgeable about anaesthetics. Are you an anaesthetist?

Jaskla Tue 28-Jan-14 17:49:08

The last time I had surgery I told the anaesthetist that the propofol was previously very painful. I don't know whether she did something different but it didn't hurt. I'm not sure whether she gave me something else first through the IV.

And it makes sense waking up in the same emotional state - I was fine last time but the time before I'd remembered feeling pain and trying to pull my arm away and I woke up in tears.

All my operations have been ENT and I sometimes feel sick afterwards. One time was worse than any other for me.

georgedawes Tue 28-Jan-14 17:49:32

Thanks for answering inpursuit

ChestyNut Tue 28-Jan-14 17:53:13

pursuit I had propofol as sedation for a wisdom tooth extraction and it was like pure torture sad
Burned and I was still very aware of what was happening half way through. Give me midazolam any day grin

Do they routinely give lidocaine with propofol to reduce the pain?

I was told by a lovely anaesthetist to ask GP to test me as DF had a scholine allergy. GP couldn't have been less interested.

Do I just mention it if I have anaesthetics?

It's like question time with pursuit grin

EauRouge Tue 28-Jan-14 17:55:54

I had my first and only GA a year ago. Best 2 hours sleep I've had since 2008. When I was coming around, I heard a nurse say that I'd just been in surgery and I replied woozily 'what surgery?' grin

The worst thing was that damn cannula, they're so uncomfortable. I just wanted to rip it out afterwards when I was in recovery.

LauraBridges Tue 28-Jan-14 18:09:02

I've never had one.
Is it true that sometimes in rare cases the patient wakes up with a bad mental state, a sort of adverse reaction? I have read a few accounts of that.

shouldnthavesaid Tue 28-Jan-14 18:39:06

Eau they are awful, last op I had I needed to shower the next morning but was still not feeling great. Stumbled into the shower and somehow I yanked it out. I remember looking at the blood, muttering that there was a lot (made worse by the shower water) and pulling the alarm. Landed up on the floor shivering and wrapped in a towel with the nurses telling me I'd fainted.. I never thought they would hurt but they do, it's a weird naggy pain.

Laura I had a psychiatric reaction not to the anaesthetic but to the sedative they gave me - had the same as a child. Both times I apparently became very aggressive, had to be restrained. I had flashbacks of the most recent time and can remember shouting at the doctor telling him I knew he was poisoning me, I threw an oxygen mask at him as well and I think I pushed one of the nurses out of the way when she tried to give me a hairner. Needless to say I'm not allowed sedation apart from extreme circumstances - and even then they'd apparently try gas and air etc first.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Tue 28-Jan-14 18:43:53

I have had two. Apparently I sold my youngest hmm.

I feel really off for a few days after, I am also allergic to something in it but never remember to tell them hmm and I would like to not have another ever.

I hope all will be fine for you.

I have had 6, my most recent one 14 months ago. There really is nothing to worry about and the medical staff will be lovely, I have always had really good experiences.

14 months ago I had my gall bladder removed when my twins were just 7 weeks old. It was fabulous, I got to have 6 hours uninterrupted sleep after the surgery and was looking forward to it for weeks smile Even the nurses commented how much I had slept was disappointed when they sent me home, I wanted to stay the night

FruitbatAuntie Tue 28-Jan-14 18:53:31

Wednesbury - the stuff that increased your heart rate was probably Syntocinon (Oxytocin)

Yes, when I had my CS they said the same to me about my heart racing when they gave me the syntocinon - and it raced like mad and left me feeling very, very peculiar for a few minutes!

QTPie Tue 28-Jan-14 20:36:37

Had my first GA just over 13 months ago and, like you, was VERY nervous...

It was absolutely fine and was actually like a nice nap. Everything was calm and had no anxiety before or afterwards.

Have had two heavy sedations (not far off GA) since and both were absolutely fine too smile

InPursuitOfOblivion Tue 28-Jan-14 20:47:55

Shouldnthavesaid I've got no idea what your anaesthetists were up to!!
Awake intubation is rare as rocking horse shit these days. It does happen from time to time but I've only seen it once when I was a student.
I've seen many difficult intubations where the anatomy is bizarre to say the least and it was always done using a flexible, fibre optic scope. Makes things much easier!
TBH given the choice I would also opt for regional anaesthesia over general myself, it's not for everyone though. And yes, opiates can be used. Some patients can feel rather . . . erm . . . Amorous shall we say? Others seem keen to reveal every detail of anything you would wish (or not) to know!

I can't really comment on dental procedures as I've so far managed to avoid that particular speciality. (Both personally and professionally.)
I know some dentists can give IV sedation. Wouldn't be keen myself!
When it comes to wisdom tooth extraction, I'm guessing, although I'd have to ask somebody else about this, that a reinforced, flexible endotracheal tube would be used and secured to one side.

Wednesbury Tue 28-Jan-14 20:59:51

Thank you very much StillNo and InPursuit especially for your answers and kind words. It being syntocinon or similar first time round making my heart race makes sense.

Although obviously the EMCS under general was not pleasant in that it was an emergency situation (though far worse for my DH I think!), I am OK with what happened under/after the GA. The quick action of all medical staff saved my DD's life and ultimately probably mine (they told me they had a 'decision to incision' time of 12 minutes). I know that I couldn't have got up to see her any sooner than I did or I would have, and it all felt very detached, but she is here and alive and well and so am I ... I am very, very thankful for modern medicine and to all those who practice it. It could have been very different. In fact it was the anaesthetist who gave it away to me that I was going under general as I heard him say 'I'll just get my GA gases mixed' or something and I thought oh right, this really is an emergency!

raydown Tue 28-Jan-14 21:16:35

Just after the anesthetic was injected I had a choking feeling in my throat. It was like a very bad taste/smell and felt like I couldn't breathe, no time to panic though because then I felt my eyes go heavy and I was asleep. What causes the choking/nasty taste?

InPursuitOfOblivion Tue 28-Jan-14 22:02:10

Everybody hates the cannulas!! I used to think patients were just being a bit whingey until I had one myself and then I understood.

Chesty- I wouldn't say lidocaine is routinely mixed with propofol but it is quite commonplace. There is evidence that lidocaine destabilises the propofol emulsion, although this does seem time dependant.
If you are allergic to scoline (succinylcholine) this is a BIG deal. Push for a test.

raydown this is a common side effect of the anaesthetic induction agent. Deeply unpleasant, but nothing to worry about.

I'll answer the questions about anaesthesia and emotions tomorrow if that is ok. It's kind of complex and I'm too tired to give a succinct answer!
If you've asked a question and I've missed it, I'm sorry! Pm if you like.
If you've got an op coming up and you do have questions it's probably wise to phone the department of anaesthetics and have a chat with them.

fairykissesforyou Tue 28-Jan-14 22:27:46


Thanks for your really clear answers and useful information.

Now I just have one more question, why would you choose regional over general anaesthetic for yourself?

Best1sWest Tue 28-Jan-14 22:32:41

I was one of those children's who had GA in the dentist's chair 40 years ago. Terrifying. Had a proper hospital one for a laparoscopy and that was fine.

1944girl Tue 28-Jan-14 22:37:06


I know how you feel about GA for EMCS. Although it was awful not being able to see my babies straight away, the sections were life savers.

When I was a student nurse working in the theatre, one of the aneasthetists would always tell the patient that they would soon have a taste of garlic in their mouth then go to sleep.Most of the patients would look at him bewildered at the word garlic. This was in the 60s when alot of people had never tasted garlic!.

InPursuitOfOblivion Tue 28-Jan-14 22:44:23

fairykisses there are pros and cons with both. For me, I find the risks of regional more acceptable. One of my mentors told me there is no way he would consider it for himself though, so it horses for courses.
I'm also a massive control freak, it doesn't make a difference really but I just feel more in control if I'm awake and not sedated.

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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