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To be worried about a General Anaesthetic?

(20 Posts)
APandaAndKoalaWalkedIntoABar Wed 10-Aug-16 22:40:34

I'm die an op at the end of the month and being quite obese should I be worried?

Does ethnicity make a difference?

Would you go ahead with a 33% success rate?

Should I adjust my woefully outdated will?

WhereIsMyPlaydough Wed 10-Aug-16 22:45:23

It all depends i guess. 33% success rate overall or for obese people? What is the op? 33% success on post heart attack surgery or liposuction (e.g. life saving or choice surgery)?

gasbird Wed 10-Aug-16 22:45:45

Hi passing anaesthetist here.
Lots of care will be taken to make you as safe as possible.
Is the 33% the chance of successful outcome surgically? Obviously it very much depends on what the surgery is for and the risks vs benefits

SockQueen Wed 10-Aug-16 22:46:50

What is your BMI? With the British population being the size it is these days, most anaesthetists are well used to anaesthetising obese patients, and while it is riskier than for someone of a normal weight, it's still very safe. Ethnicity doesn't really matter.

I assume the 33% success rate is the operation, not the anaesthetic? GA is much much safer than that.

Rrross1ges Wed 10-Aug-16 22:50:58

I had a general for a crash section with DC2. I got a tingling sensation in my legs then had the best sleep ever. I was off the wall crazy when I woke up, though it could have been the morphine. It was like when you get hammered and sleep for hours in total oblivion but no hangover. Though the post c-section pain wasn't much of a laugh (better than my first section though).

You're going to be fine and get good pain relief.

amammabear Wed 10-Aug-16 22:58:39

Do you mean it's a 33% success for the procedure or for survival? What's the op for?

HicDraconis Wed 10-Aug-16 23:05:41

Ethnicity makes no difference.

Obesity - depending on the level of obesity - can be more of an issue depending on how large you are and what the operation is. There are some operations (gynae and lower limb in particular) that can be done using a spinal anaesthetic (same as for most caesarean sections) which is safer in the obese population although can be technically more difficult to get in. Many of my patients have a BMI in the 40-45 range, if they need a general anaesthetic they get one.

33% success rate - more difficult to comment on without knowing what the op is. The things to think about are what will happen if you have the surgery and it works, what will happen if you have the surgery and it doesn't work (or there are complications), what will happen if you don't have the surgery at all. Think about what your ideal lifestyle would involve - if having the surgery will make a significant contribution to that, then it may be worth the 67% failure risk. If you are going to be able to live your life exactly as you would like to without having the surgery, ask yourself why you want it and what it would achieve. If you have significant pain and the surgery is an attempt to cure or reduce it, think about how you will feel if you go through the procedure but it gets no better.

All of this should be discussed with your surgeon way before you get to being given a date for surgery so you know absolutely that this is what you want to be doing.

It's not at all unreasonable to be concerned about a GA. It's unreasonable to think that because of this, you need to update your will - but given that I think everyone should have up to date wills anyway (being involved in a road accident on the way to the hospital is more common than surgical or anaesthetic complications!) then I would advise you do that regardless of forthcoming surgery.

APandaAndKoalaWalkedIntoABar Wed 10-Aug-16 23:53:50

Sorry, yes 33% success on the op and life changing (eyes) not life saving.

APandaAndKoalaWalkedIntoABar Wed 10-Aug-16 23:56:15

Bmi 52% blush l

AndNowItsSeven Thu 11-Aug-16 00:27:17

If they didn't think the operation was worth taking the risk it wouldn't be getting carried out.
I hope you are being given support for your weight loss and all goes well with op ( with your eyes I mean)

jellybeans Thu 11-Aug-16 00:48:08

Yanbu I get scared too. Have had several. But it is really very safe indeed.

HicDraconis Thu 11-Aug-16 05:56:14

Sounds like vitreoretinal stuff (retinal detachments?) ... you need to think about what the options are if you don't have the surgery in terms of your future likely eyesight. If I knew I was going to eventually go blind but an operation would have a 1:3 chance of stopping that then I would have the operation.

The heaviest person I have anaesthetised was over 200kg, it's perfectly doable. But it will contribute to your overall risk; if there is a chance you can lose even a little weight before the surgery it will definitely help. I'd almost consider seeing if you can have some serious weight loss input (VLCD with counselling /CBT into eating habits) and deferring for 6 months, but I suspect with eyes they don't want to risk eyesight deteriorating further.

wannabestressfree Thu 11-Aug-16 06:06:58

I am obese and need an urgent operation and am tapering off steroids to help me lose weight and heal (I put on 40kg due to large doses of steroids). I have surgery regularly and last time I was really frightened. They really helped and reassured me. I agree though every little helps....

AnUtterIdiot Thu 11-Aug-16 06:55:39

My BMI is about 38-40 and I've had two GAs in the last 2 years. No problems or side effects. One emergency operation and one elective.

Germgirl Thu 11-Aug-16 06:55:43

My BMI was 52 when I had my last anaesthetic (weight loss surgery). I had no problems at all with it, not even the usual post op sore throat.
Anaesthetists are amazing, they're used to larger people and will do everything they can to make it safe. Obviously if you can lose some weight it will help, I believe the main 'problem' with bigger people is the fact that we don't really have a neck, excess weight in the neck region makes it harder to place breathing tubes etc, and obviously it's harder to find veins for the anaesthetic to be administered in the first place - I had terrible trouble with this but I've always been very veinless.

AnUtterIdiot Thu 11-Aug-16 06:57:00

Actually I've had 3 in the last 2 years, not 2.

APandaAndKoalaWalkedIntoABar Thu 11-Aug-16 09:11:28

Thanks for advice and reassurances people
. I'll do my best to drop some pounds before surgery.

HicDraconis Thu 11-Aug-16 09:43:58

GermGirl finding veins and putting breathing tubes in is the easy part. There are many physiological changes associated with obesity that cause anaesthetic problems, complications and post operative difficulties - so much so that obesity was the focus of a national anaesthesia day recently. If it were just the technical aspects we wouldn't strongly advise weight loss preop, we'd develop better technology to cope with lines and tubes (which tend to be relatively straightforward). No more details as no need to worry the OP any more than she already is though!

gasbird Thu 11-Aug-16 10:15:15

If it's quality of life surgery then attempting to lose weight prior to surgery would be beneficial. Also for your overall wellbeing.
I guess you have considered weight reduction surgery.
If you go down the dietician route then any weight loss is a bonus. Your anaesthetist and surgeon would talk through the options and risks and benefits.

amammabear Thu 11-Aug-16 12:53:19

I remember watching a children's hospital programme and they were suggesting an op for a child where it was 50/50 I'd the child would survive the op, but if they did they'd almost certainly live a long time, if they didn't, the child would definitely die within weeks, which to me is a no brainer but they decided not to.

If there's a good chance of a worse result, that would be different.

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