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To want a general anaesthetic?

(29 Posts)
GiveMeVegemite Tue 19-Jan-16 23:51:00

I am mainly asking to get other opinions who have been through a general for a C - Section or those who know of others who have.

I have had 2 previous C - Sections. During the spinal on my last section, the doctor punctured the wrong spot (4 times) and left me with severe back pain for weeks after the procedure and also numbness for several days. She was wiggling the needle around asking "Can you feel the left side of your back?" Yes, yes, I definitely could.... It was excruciating and honestly I feel sick just thinking about getting another spinal / epidural for this section. The operation was an absolute breeze compared to the spinal.

The anaesthetist at my new hospital has recommended that I get a general as I am so stressed about the spinal, but I want to make sure that I am not putting myself or my baby under any undue risks by having a general.

Am I being unreasonable and should just get a spinal?

TheSecondViola Tue 19-Jan-16 23:55:13

Take advice from your doctors. Why you would ask serious medical questions on aibu of all places is baffling.

expatinscotland Tue 19-Jan-16 23:56:30

Go with the anaesthetist's suggestion.

Headmelt Wed 20-Jan-16 00:19:55

I had an emcs under ga. Remembering it still upsets me, even now, though it was a few years ago. It was awful, traumatic and not something I would want to happen me again. It may be different when it is an elcs but do your research fully before you "agree" to having a cs under ga.

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 20-Jan-16 00:27:09

Have you had a GA before? They aren't without risks.

Personally I would not have passed up the chance to see DD immediately. I had a weird thing about making sure I got the right baby. Possibly too much X-Files!

TyrionLannistersShadow Wed 20-Jan-16 00:32:24

I had one c section with a spinal and the next 2 under ga. I found the one done with the spinal anaesthetic very traumatic for various reasons and I requested a ga for the next 2, there was no problem once I explained my reasons. No problems with the ga at all and it made the experience much easier for me. Oh and no issues bonding etc either, in fact everything was fine. If I had to go again I would do the same, no question.

YouGottaKeepEmSeparated Wed 20-Jan-16 01:34:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GiveMeVegemite Wed 20-Jan-16 05:21:46

Thanks for your comments.

I'm not asking for medical advice, viola Im asking for personal experiences as there is a lot to consider and I would like to hear other people's stories.

I have spoken to an my anesthetist and she recommended a general due to my previous experience, but would like to know if people struggled to bond / breastfeed etc after as I want to do what is best for my baby.

Devilishpyjamas Wed 20-Jan-16 05:30:13

Not quite the same, but I had a horrendous c-section (elective) with ds2. I was an absolute gibbering wreck by the time it came to ds3. I thought I was going to die on the operating table. Had a trial of VBA2S but ended up with a third. I was VERY scared, but the anaesthetist was lovely, stayed with me even though he was meant to clock off & it ended up being a very positive experience.

thenewaveragebear1983 Wed 20-Jan-16 05:32:05

I wanted a ga as I was terrified of the spinal, had ga first time and spent 8.5 months worrying about having spinal the second time.....they talked me into it, and I found the spinal horrific (not for any real reason, just hated being awake during the op) but found recovery easier after spinal and it was nice to be the first to hold the baby. There's obviously pros and cons, if I was doing it again i'd have the spinal but wouldn't be happy about it

Higge Wed 20-Jan-16 06:51:29

I'd rather have a spinal but it didn't take properly and no one believed me and they started operating anyway - after 20 mins of pain - they decided to give me a GA - god damn butchers!

Booboostwo Wed 20-Jan-16 07:10:04

Pain and numbness are possible side-effects of the spinal. You were unlucky to experience them but it is possible for anyone, at any spinal to be that unlucky. What are the risks of a GA, has the anesthetist explained them to you? Would you prefer the risks of the GA to the risks of the spinal? Hopefully you won't experience any side effects whichever method you chose but comparing worst case scenaria is one way of making your mind up.

wonkylegs Wed 20-Jan-16 07:41:35

I haven't had a GA for a c- section but for other operations and I found that I don't react well to them,
Going to sleep is fine but I always wake up very distressed and in floods of tears and it takes me some time to recover - last time my anaesthetist told me its a common side effect and not to worry, it's not physically a problem but I find it psychologically quite traumatic.
There are some risks to the GA but it's best to discuss these with your consultant, who can tell you more about them and whether or not the risk 'is worth it' in your circumstances. All surgery is risky but that doesn't necessarily make it inappropriate.

George2014 Wed 20-Jan-16 07:47:21

I had an emcs and the epidural failed and I felt them cutting me etc (most harrowing experience of my life) so was immediately put under GA. There were complications and I couldn't wake up easily and missed the first 12 hrs as I was so drowsy. It still upsets me know 5 yrs later.

That said, I needed some gynae procedures last year which could easily be done with spinal but I as I was in such a state about it going wrong again, they decided to do a GA and it was a breeze as it was planned.

NeuNewNouveau Wed 20-Jan-16 07:53:02

I had one c section under ga as it was a crash section and a planned one with a spinal.

The experience of the section under ga was horrible. If I am honest I bonded much better with DC2 as I had that immediate rush of love and skin to skin bonding. With DC1 I woke from GA to hear a baby cry and asked DH if it was ours, DH had already told me four times. DC was dressed and name labelled before I woke. Honest answer is that it really effected me, delayed bonding and was something I spent months in a state about.
I was gobsmacked when I had DC2 as I hadn't ever thought a c section could be a happy occasion. A lot of that was to do with seeing the baby immediately and the initial wow bit. It emerged that it wasn't the c section but that was awful, it was not being aware of my baby being born.

Sorry to put a negative story to you but it is my honest experience. I wish you well with your choice, your experience may well be different as you would have time to prepare for it which I didn't have.

HicDraconis Wed 20-Jan-16 08:14:45

We always recommend a Caesar under spinal - statistically it is safer for both mother and baby.

That said, there are occasions where it is necessary to give a GA - not enough time to get a spinal in (the true emergency Caesar), or mother unable to have spinal for medical reasons (there are a few), or regional block not sufficient once surgery has started needing conversion to GA.

Spinal issues: having it put in can be tricky and painful. Once in, you are numb from the middle of your chest down and may find it feels heavy to breathe. You can feel the pulling, tugging and rummaging of surgery but should feel no stinging, burning or pain sensation. Some women dislike the pressure sensations.
Risks: failure (rare - epidural failure is more common), headache (1:500), nerve injury (1:5000 short term, 1:10000 lasting more than 6 months); bleeding, bruising, infection (rare), high block (uncommon), low blood pressure and sickness (common unless your anaesthetist runs blood pressure meds at the same time as the spinal). Legs are numb and you can't move them for 4-8 hours.
Benefits: you're awake for your baby's birth, you don't have the risks of a GA, your baby does not get any anaesthetic, you get better pain relief (we can put morphine or diamorphine into your back with the local). Your partner is in theatre with you.

GA issues: you need meds to fall asleep, a breathing tube is inserted into your windpipe. There is a theoretical risk of stomach acids regurgitating upwards while you are falling asleep; often an assistant will press on the front of your neck to try and prevent acid spilling into your lungs (which causes serious injury to them).
Risks: damage to teeth from putting the tube in, sore throat, nausea and vomiting, allergic reaction to meds (1:2500 risk of anaphylaxis to the one used to relax muscles to get the breathing tube in). You may be in more pain afterwards without the morphine in your spinal fluid (can be given IV but ga patients seem to need much more pain tried than regional block patients). The baby may need more care at birth as they will have some anaesthetic on board and may come out sleepy - this might mean a paediatrician having to breathe for them until they wake up enough to breathe on their own, or having an injection of something to reverse the effects of painkillers. You will be sleepy for the first few hours and won't remember much. Your partner may not be allowed in to theatre as you won't need their support (you're asleep). All of the anaesthesia related serious incidents in the maternal morbidity audits relate to general anaesthesia (however there were and are very very few!)
Benefits: none of the risks of a spinal, fastest way to get you anaesthetised for quick delivery of baby in an emergency.

As far as I know there is no link between type of anaesthetic and bonding or feeding issues. You can feed a baby after a general as soon as you're awake enough to hold them safely. Some places will use an apnoea monitor on newborns if the mother is needing a lot if morphine based pain relief though.

Ultimately a spinal is better for the baby, but a GA may be better for you. I would go with your anaesthetist's advice. I've given hundreds of general anaesthetics for Caesarean section, often with the sickest mothers and babies - the elective type is much more straightforward.

I know you weren't after medical advice & have tried not to give any, but hope someone finds the above useful.

Eminado Wed 20-Jan-16 08:22:03

thesecondviola this is the 2nd thread i have read this morning where you really have been quite scathing of /a little aggressive towards posters.
(Ref: vicks on feet thread).

If you dont like what the OP posted or where why not just hide the thread? confused

HicDraconis Wed 20-Jan-16 08:26:59

thesecondviola there are lots of doctors on mumsnet, including anaesthetists and paediatricians. There's probably an obstetrician or two lurking as well! Why not ask for medical advice on AIBU? It's one of the most widely read forums and therefore more likely to be picked up on.

I wouldn't make decisions solely based on the pontification of an Internet random (London, 1998 // specialist register 2009 // thousands of spinals, epidurals and GAs in the logbook) but I might well ask for opinions and ideas to think about from them.

Minisoksmakehardwork Wed 20-Jan-16 08:31:14

I had an Emcs section under general for my last birth. But slightly different in that I had twins and one was born vaginally while twin 2 got stuck, hence ending up with a crash section.

Anyway, being honest, I didn't remember meeting the babies properly - I'd briefly been shown dtd before he was handed to dh and they concentrated on dts - after coming round from the general, though I have the photos to prove it. But I was doped up on morphine.

The recovery from my section was much better than either of my other births (2 precious vaginal, not including twin dd). After the actual operation I was on self administering morphine over night. So once I'd realised that there's a timer on it to stop you od'ing, I filled myself up whenever I got painful, as opposed to trying to muster on with standard paracetamol. The following 2 weeks we remained in hospital as dts needed to do a little bit of weight gaining and establishing feeding. So I was rested nicely, I got to look after the babies and bond with them.

I didn't suffer any bonding issues as a result of the general but I did have a birth counselling session afterwards as everything happened with such urgency leading up to that point (sent to wrong place and no one realised how fast I would labour) that the issues I had were more caused by that than not seeing dts immediately and having skin to skin etc.

If you know you are having a general, and it does sound like advice is that it would be better for you, then I'd focus on making sure things happen the way you want after you come round. They may be able to have baby near you while you come round if it's less urgent than mine was. So even if you don't remember, you will be able to have baby Asap. And if you are suffering less physically, you will be in a better place to bond with baby anyway.

BillBrysonsBeard Wed 20-Jan-16 09:12:30

I had a general, it was brilliant. Fall asleep pregnant, wake up with baby! I wanted the least involved method and this was it.

BillBrysonsBeard Wed 20-Jan-16 09:14:17

Forgot to add.. No bonding issues smile

minifingerz Wed 20-Jan-16 09:19:40

"As far as I know there is no link between type of anaesthetic and bonding or feeding issues."

No - I think that this is more the case (from the Cochrane review of Regional versus general anaesthesia for c-section here )

"None of the trials addressed important outcomes for women such as recovery times, effects on breastfeeding, effects on the mother-child relationship and length of time before mother feels well enough to care for her baby."

Ie, it's not that there's proven to be 'no link', it's that there is simply no evidence because nobody seems to think that these things are important enough to study.

Reading some of the stories on this thread maybe it's time someone did....

minifingerz Wed 20-Jan-16 09:22:31

"including anaesthetists and paediatricians. There's probably an obstetrician or two "

Re: recovery and emotional issues - it might be a midwife or health visitor could be more helpful on this front, as doctors have very little contact with women after surgery and once they've been discharged from hospital.

CheshireChat Wed 20-Jan-16 10:26:03

I had a spinal for my csection and it was absolutely fine, the anaesthetist was great and hovered over me constantly. I had a GA for my septum surgery and while it wasn't bad they struggled to wake me up and I was hot and nauseous for hours afterwards. Also the sore throat was dreadful and put me off eating for days.
I make it sound bad and I wouldn't like it with a baby on top, but I'd have it again if needed so not traumatic.
Best of luck whatever you choose.

whois Wed 20-Jan-16 11:52:04

Have you ever had a general OP?

I have had a couple. The first was for a long operation about 4 hours ish, and I struggled to wake up and was very VERY sick for a long time afterwards. couldn't keep down liquid for about 24 hours.

The second was probably about a 2h opp and although it was hard to get fully awake I guess I didn't really have to try to wak up properly and there wasn't a good rason like a lovely new baby! I wasn't sick because I was given anti sickness meds.

Third time a short operation <1h and the only one where I actually remember coming to in recovery. Much easier to wake up. No sickness again due to anti sickness meds.

I never had any throat pain.

Overall I would not hesitate to have a GA is needed/advised but given my previous sickness history I would need the anti sickness meds.

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