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Can someone please help me make a decision about my upcoming surgery(13 Posts)
I am having a full hip replacement next week and have to make a decision about the anaesthetic. They have offered me a general anaesthetic or an epidural with sedation. I can make my mind up on the day after discussing it with the anaesthetist.
I know that a general carries more risks and would take longer to recover from, but I'm not sure about just being sedated. It's a big op and I don't want to be able to hear what's going on, that sounds traumatic to me. I'm not that brave!
I wondered if anybody had any personal experience of being sedated for an operation and how they felt about it. What were you aware of during the operation and would you recommend it?
I haven't got any personal experience. My Mum had hers done under an epidural and sedation, she said it was okay, she knew what was happening but 'didnt' if you see what I mean. She didn't have to stay in hospital afterwards for too long and she said it was better than having a general anaesthetic.
I hope your operation goes well whichever you chose.
Both my parents have had hips and knees replaced this way and said it was fine and they didn't remember anything afterwards. My DM is particularly squeamish, but it must have been ok as she had her second hip with epidural too.
Thank you both. That is extremely helpful!
From professional experience rather than personal, but hope this is still useful.... Most people are nervous about spinal/sedation but most also say they’d have it again if they needed another operation doing. I would wait until you’ve seen your anaesthetist before deciding - they’ll be able to explain the balance of risk and benefit for each option for you (for some people one option may be better than the other for medical reasons rather than just preference). A lot of people don’t actually need sedation once the spinal is in and they realise that they really are numb. If you don’t want to hear what’s going on in theatre take some earplugs or take some music & headphones (the earplug sort work better than headphones as you’ll be lying on your side for the operation). Quite often people just fall asleep anyway (it’s really not that interesting in theatre!). The anaesthetist will be there the whole time so if you decide initially to be awake/lightly sedated but don’t like it once things get going they’ll be able to tweak things to get you more comfortable.
If you Google ‘Anaesthetic choices for hip and knee surgery’ you’ll find a leaflet produced by the Royal College of Anaesthetists which may be useful if you haven’t seen it already.
Hope it goes well.
I had sedation for a wisdom tooth removal, and whilst it's not really comparable surgery I was terrified because I hate dentists. It was absolutely fine! Even immediately afterwards I couldn't remember anything that happened. I can remember walking down the corridor with the nurse after it was finished but nothing from before or during.
Had a spinal for knee surgery recently. They gave me sedation too so I was asleep anyway! It was fine.
Thank you everyone, that is very helpful. I think I will probably go for the spinal and sedation.
Greybeardy I will read that leaflet, thank you.
Losinglola, respect to you, I would rather have my op than have a wisdom tooth out!!
I've had two surgeries under spinal, one with sedation and one without. They were both absolutely fine, you lose all concept of time and what's going on tbh, and I am actively terrified of general anaethesia.
I would just like to add that the sedation doesn't work for everyone. It didn't work for me and I ended up in a state of hyper-wakefulness throughout the knee replacement surgery and was aware of everything that went on - didn't as much as feel drowsy and heard and saw everything. It was not always pretty as joint replacement is more like carpentry than fine surgery. the force of the hammering shifted me along the operation table! They tried to upp the level of sedation but ended up depressing my breathing rather than sedating me and meant I had to stay in recovery for 4½ hours post-op. This is probably not something that will affect you as I don't always have normal medication reactions.
A good point of having the epidural/spinal is that you get complete pain relief for those first few hours after surgery,
My dh had his hip replaced and had the epidural. He did say he could hear stuff, but this according to him was fine ! But painwise, it was great. He was home 48 hrs later. Good luck with your op.
I had a spinal in 2011 for a labiaplasty (medical reasons) and cystoscopy , and then again in 2013 for a coil fitting .
First time I panicked once numb so they gave me sedation , which was OK as I forgot the entire op apart from brief flashbacks . I didn’t like the sedation apparently either but I don’t remember that well .
Second time I was given fentanyl at the same time as the spinal as far as I know so I was awake but not quite - that was much easier, I was very ‘drunk’ and relaxed and giggly . The staff were lovely with the second one , there were only 8 or 9 and they were all ladies .
Last GA I had was 2005, and then before that 1998 - I hated both times waking up in severe pain, shivering and vomiting etc .
Both times it felt much easier having the spinal , no real side effects other than difficulty peeing for a bit but that’s my usual anyway . Good for pain control for the first few hours too .
I’m petrified of GA as I’m scared I won’t wake up again, I’m waiting on another op soon so hoping they’ll let me have a spinal again as it feels safer and easier to cope with .
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